Every from about 6:45 to 10:30pm, I can be found in the glass blowing factory. I’ve been obsessed with glass as long as I can remember. When I was in highschool and my family went to Italy, we visited the island of Murano. I still have a fused glass clock that I bought there. When I was in college studying abroad, I fell in love with a blown glass chandelier that I just had to have. Since it wouldn’t fit in any suitcase, I had to carry it from Greece back to England then back to America. Even though the process was quite unpleasant, I still love the piece.
Imagine my delight when I moved to St. Louis and found out that there is a full functioning glass factory/studio not far from where I live! I’ve taken several classes there from blown glass eggs to stringer bowls in the kiln to pumpkins.
And then I made a cheese plate out of a wine bottle and some beer mugs.
I wasn’t kidding. I love glass. Since my dad is a glass contractor, it must be genetic. But the glass I love is much prettier than the windows he loves. Can one person have too much glass, you ask? No. That’s why I signed up for an 8 week intensive glass blowing class. Which explains why I spent 3 hours a week in the glass blowing factory. I’m learning how to do it on my own.
Here’s the studio! The master glass blowers make it look so effortless, so I was a bit surprised when I learned about how much goes into it. I mean, you have to have a million tools before you can even start making a piece.
These are some of the tools you use. Each tool has a specific purpose, and a specific way to hold it, and a certain time in the process to use it…it’s a lot to remember.
Oh yeah, and you have to remember what to do next while holding a 3000 degree blob of molten glass on the end of the stick. Also, try to not singe your skin off.
Here I am heating up a gather to make my Easter eggs.
This class was before my intensive, so my instructor did most of the hard stuff. This is my egg getting taken off and put into the annealer.
On Tuesday we made glass tumblers to learn how to do cylinder shapes. Mine got a little lumpy, so stay tuned for the result…