August 24, 2011

Glass, Glass, Baby!

To finish off my list of summer classes (here, here, and here) I recently took a glass blowing class at Uptown Glassworks! I made this:

No, really, I made that! Well, the master glass blower led me through the process and was by my side the entire time, but I made this!

This was, by far, the most intimidating and exhilarating class yet. Mostly because I was constantly in fear of burning a finger or two off! The furnace is kept at a cool 2700 degrees, after all.
First, I picked the colors I wanted to incorporate into my bowl.
I chose two greens; Grass and Irish.
Starting with a small glob of molten glass, I rolled and rolled to get it nice and smooth and round. 

 It was HOT!
Then we dipped it into the small colored shards. Grass on two sides and Irish on the other two.
Did I mention I was a bit nervous!? 
Then, rolling to swirl the colors.
Back into the fire.
 More rolling and swirling.
 Shaping with a wooden form.

Getting instructions for the "blowing" part of the glass blowing.
 Blowing the bubble. Phew. I had to work hard not to pass out! Not only was that a lot of breath- it was HOT in there!
 Blow, Blow, Blow the glass...

 Ridging the end with a metal jack to make the foot of the bowl.
 Starting to really feel natural at this! Ok, not really.
 Then, my teacher used a blow torch to heat the end even more while I blew to "pop" the balloon. This would make it open to make the bowl.
 I did it!
Then, you have to trim the very thin lip of the bowl so it won't shatter. I let my teacher do the cutting. It was too close for my comfort.

 Using the jack again to open the rim up.
 Finally a spin to get it to open up like a flower.

 It started cooling down quick and you could see the color change from the molten orange to the green that it would become once room temperature.

My teacher pulled a "button" of glass from the furnace for the base of the bowl.
 After setting her down on the button, she was all done!
 I was SO proud!
It had to immediately go into a "cooler" (that was set for 1000 degrees) so it would slowly cool to room temperature and not shatter. I was able to go back the next day and pick it up.

A beautiful addition to our kitchen, don't you think? (House tour to come...)


  1. Damn girl! Gorgeous!!! And I see from your other posts that you've been busy, busy, busy! Can't wait to see!

  2. Too cool, or should I say soooooooo HOT! I want one:):):)
    As in the words of your wee boy "good job" with a thumbs up:):)