Yeah, that’s right… me! Thanks to my older daughter, Jessica… yes, the same one who set me up with the blacksmith class… I am learning how to make objects from molten glass. You know, to add to my painting, writing, illustrating, tiki carving, song writing and guitar playing… in my spare time. That right there, in the small oven used to reheat the glass, is my second attempt at making something. It is going to be a vase.
Let’s backtrack a little. I couldn’t actually take pictures of myself working on glass. Your hands are busy and so is your full attention. There is another view of the small, reheating oven.
Another view of the shop.
No, that isn’t the door to Donald Trump’s personal quarters in hell… that is the big oven… or kiln, or whatever. I can’t remember the technical term. Inside, you can see a huge bowl full of molten glass. Hundreds of pounds… gallons?… of molten glass.
Those are the long sticks you use to gather the molten glass, with their tips being kept hot. Some of them are hollow. That is for the glass blowing part. My first work of art was a paperweight. You have to start off with a paper weight. No blowing involved. But you get to take a huge blob of glass, work it, shape it, and add color, before the teacher dips it into more clear glass to encase your work of art.
And those are the tools you use for shaping and twisting and contorting your work of art, all the while rolling the stick on those two metal rails.
But the next thing I knew, I was blowing into a long, hollow tube, and making a vase.
That is a picture of my teacher getting ready to crack the vase off the blob of glass we used to hold it while we shaped it. You may notice that the mouth of the vase is uneven. We were going to do a simple folded edge on top, but as I was pulling the cooling glass out with a pair of pointed tongs, I suddenly realized that I liked the shape. It looked like flower petals. So I decided to keep it that way.
I added colored, powdered glass to both pieces, reheating them between each addition of color. I used blue and green in each piece. You can’t see the colors very well in these pictures. The colors come out as the piece cools.
Right now, my two works of art are sitting in an ‘annealing oven’, cooling slowly for a day, so they don’t shatter into a million fragments… hopefully. I will pick them up as soon as I can, and take some good pictures of them for you.
I think I am going to do this again.