This is the plant manager, Shigeru Nishimura. A very gracious man who spent a lot of time with us, treated us to lunch, answered all of our questions and so much more. I have always loved Toho beads, but after this tour…I have devolped a new love and appreciation for beads, their beads especially. There are 80 employees in this factory that makes all these beads for a world-wide distribution. I am sure that they work way more than a 40-hour week. I wanted to ask what is their normal work week? but I never had the chance.
This area was extremely hot! and I mean hot! I used to be a chef in a commercial kitchen and I know what it means to slave over a hot stove, but trust me that pales in comparison! We were warned not to get too close many times over.
This man would scoop out an amount of the molten glass and bring it over to a table where it seemed as if he was kneading it as you would do a loaf of bread dough.
He brought it over to this table to accomplish that. This is not one of my better pictures!
and then it would be scooped up and placed into this other piece of equipment. Yes that is fire that you see beneath it all!
Then we went downstairs and watched it come down.
and watched it travel some more!
and travel and travel.
it was still hot as you could see the steam rising!
and it was still red hot in areas!
and it would travel some more!