Glass Blowing!

From left to right, the first ornament I made to the last one.

Glass blowing!!! GLASS BLOWING

I've wanted to learn for years. Can you tell by my bolded exclamation points & underlining? Ok, I must admit this wasn't really real glass blowing. It was glass blowing lite.

This weekend a friend & I took the Blown Glass Ornament workshop at the Lillstreet Art Center. So. Much. Fun. Everyone was provided with five glass tubes with cyclinders at the end. With real glass blowing you wouldn't be using a pre-fab cylinder.

Bits of colored glass shards called frit were poured into the cylinders. The cylinders became the ornament part & were cut away from the tube. After adding the color you heat the cylinder, puff it up a little, repeat, then heat it up red hot & do some hard puffing to make (semi) perfect globes. Results varied. Oh & a cool little fact- you cool your glass in vermiculite, the same stuff that you garden with.

My friend Betsy scoring her glass in preparation for knocking the glass tube off the end.

I wore my new Tiramisu top after having washed it & achieving the perfect fit. No floppy fabric flying around was a very good thing. The teacher told us that a previous student had burned a hole right through her top because as she bent over to blow her ornament her shirt had come along for the ride.

In order to get our glass hot enough, the torches we used had to be extremely hot. I burned myself on a torch someone had had tuned off for several minutes. Really, I'm a menace to myself. But it's just a light brown mark, nothing to fret over.

I'm a major cultz.

Burning myself is the least of my worries though. Now I have to figure out which person on my Christmas list gets which ornament. By that I mean how many can I keep for myself? Can I keep them all & just give everyone nice cards for Christmas? No? Alright, fine! I'll part with some of them.

Do I keep these for myself or give them away for Christmas? Hmmmm.

I really wished I could have blown more, but alas five ornaments was all we were allotted, which was a shame because right at that point was when everyone started to feel like they were getting the hang of things. But you know what that means? Next year I have to take the workshop again.



13 thoughts on “Glass Blowing!

  1. Pingback: 2012, The Year of Making Things « Disparate Disciplines

  2. I’ve taken classes a couple of times. There’s a guy near me who lets you pay based on what you want to make, and helps. I’m going with one the offspring this weekend. It’s her Christmas gift.

    You should try to take a real class sometime. It is hard but really fun.

  3. Very pretty! Can you chisel in time to enrol in more comprehensive classes? Sounds like you really enjoyed this and could be good at it. This got me wondering about gloves. What do glassblowers wear to protect their arms? Asbestos gloves don’t sound right. 🙂

    • Unfortunately for a full class it costs upwards of $300, but one day I shall learn proper glass blowing! We didn’t use any gloves & I can’t remember seeing professional glass blowers using them either. With real gloss blowing you’re blowing into a metal rod that’s probably over a meter long. When you’re doing it you need to rotate the rod too & I think a glove might hinder dexterity. Really, the only things you definitely need to be wearing are jeans & close toed shoes. Short sleeves are fine.

  4. Very Cool!! Hope you get to keep at least one since you were so excited about it! They are sure to be amazing gifts! Who wouldn’t want a hand blown ornament! Pretty neat!

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