Corporate Peon: Blow This

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blow This

I lied to you before. It wasn't on purpose; I swear, I didn't know. Yes, you're right, I could have double-checked before I said anything, but I really didn't think it would be a big deal.

There was no glass blowing last weekend.

There was, however, bead making, and fusing, and paperweight making. The bead making was pretty cool - we each had our own little flames, and all these different colored sticks of glass - like straws, and we learned how to melt the glass and then 'gather,' which means gathering a ball of melted glass onto the glass, and then transfer it to the mandrille, which is what the bead hardens on. We learned how to add dots or swirls, do multiple colors...I made 10 different beads that I need to fashion into something.

After that was the glass fusing, where we cut colored class into different shapes and made a tile out of it. I am the least creative person out there, so I didn't like this as much. I felt like my design was...well, not ugly, but not very asthetically pleasing. And cutting and breaking the glass made me a little jumpy.

After that we did some furnace work to make the paperweights. Now THAT was cool. Again, we gathered glass onto the rod (punty, in this case) from basically a well of melted glass. Any idea how hot that is? Yeah. FUCKING HOT. It was seriously so hot that I almost couldn't stand in front of the open furnace for the 5 seconds required to gather. Seriously. FUCKING HOT. Anyway, we added the colors to the gathered glass using frit, basically fine glass shards. We heated that to melt the colors into the base layer, so we'd have a smooth surface, then learned how to swirl the colors and poke air bubbles inside it, and gathered clear glass over that. We shaped them and then cut them loose from the punty!

It was seriously pretty cool, and very interesting, but I don't think I'll be pursuing any of that. I don't feel creative enough to make more beads, because then I have to do something with them, and that feels stressful. I get to pick up the fusing and paperweight on Friday; maybe seeing the finished products will change my mind.


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