Fantasy in Glass has discovered that rats can be trained to help in the manufacture of their molds for glass slumping and fusing. Apparently it's not just any rodents, but the "highly social, intelligent" Figus Rattus- a small caviomorph rodent that is native to Toronto. And while they don't use tools in their natural habitats, they have been taught by the staff of Fantasy In Glass (Canada's first and still only glass supplier) to do so in captivity.
After several months of training and practice, Mikey points out that the figus can move a rake as smoothly and efficiently as any croupier in a Las Vegas casino- a handy skill when mixing the mud-like slurry that these molds for slumping glass are made of.
“This is first time rodents have been trained to wield tools”, said Gary Brownosley, a pseudoscientist, who led the experiments at the Laboratory for Really Cool Science in Toronto. He elaborated about how they are so efficient and quality conscious that the Teamsters’ Union has petitioned the mold manufacturer to either stop using these poor little helpless animals or to certify them to unionize the shop.
While these figus rodents are best at manufacturing molds 14” or smaller in diameter (a size that is easily accommodated by most of the kilns sold at FIG) scientists from the LRCS are considering training baboons in the manufacture of larger molds- a specialty of Brownosley’s.
In separate studies, Dr. Brownosley notes they are examining gene expression in the brains of macaques and marmosets trained to check the coefficients of expansion in Uroboros glass.
Mikey notes that our shipment of over 500 molds will arrive Tue. Sept.2!