To get better control over the atmosphere in the forge, I have decided to build a blown gas forge based on a design by Tim Zowada. The basic structure is provided by a 10 gallon compressed air tank I picked up from Lowes. Using Tim's forced-air manifold, the forge should easily get up to welding temperature (2300F).
Jon who runs the TemperChi Glass Art Studio is helping with building this thing and already has some cerawool for lining the inside. The Cerawool is going to get covered with a 1/4in layer of Satanite and then with an ITC-100 coating. The forge floor will be made from Bubble Alumina refractory which has a heat rating of up 3300F and is supposed to be very resistant to flux. The inside diameter of the forge will be 8 inches and the length about 12 inches.
If you are interested in making glass beads, you can learn that at the shop, too, as well as welding