Thursday, February 9, 2017

Movin on...glassblowing and loss of mind

SNOW DAY!!! Sort of....the big bad storm fizzled out. Here is an actual conversation between mother and son....

Son: "It is going to snow tomorrow."

BP Mom: "Yep."

Son: "We don't have any food."

BPMom: "Huh?"

Looking into the refrigerator and pantry with surplus on the counter top, I could not believe my ears. Seriously? No food? Dude, look around. There is more than enough to feed a large family in the inner and outer city. Sheesh. Needless to say, I did not join the countless people in line at the grocery store to grab milk (have it), eggs (got those too) and bread (more than enough).

On to glass blowing.....

Yes! I did it. It was the coolest and hottest thing I have ever done. You start out with sand.....then it melts at 2200 degrees in a big oven. Yes, that is not a typo. The oven was 2200 degrees F. My eyebrows were singed and I do not need to wax them this week.

Anyway, it was incredibly hot as we worked together with a master glassblower whom I will call the Dude. Why was he the  "Dude?" Well, he may have been 30ish, chain smoked, tattooed, and a bit immature. Although, he was excellent as a glassblower.

So, picture this...three friends and I paid $200 for 8 hours of lessons. Dude mentioned that we would be making a glass mug that you can wash in the dishwasher but not use for coffee (still scratching my head about that one), a vase, bowl, and paperweight. Cool!

And so, Diamond (my friend the jeweler) went first. He was not intimidated by the  heat as he spun his wand, blew into the pipe, and worked with the Dude. After 30 minutes, Diamond's mug was finished and it looked really neat.
Image result for glass blowing gif
Then it was on to BPM. Did I want to be second? Nope, but I went AND was completely intimidated by the process. We weren't given much of an orientation except to wear mom jeans, a long sleeve cotton shirt, and sunglasses. Did I listen? Nope, I wore a rayon stretch top and work out pants. Needless to say, we found an open WalMart and grabbed a 3 dollar shirt to cover my flammable gear. Even with the cotton sleeves, I found myself blowing out the sparks from the glass as we molded it.Image result for glass blowing gif

Back to the orientation....just...keep twirling the glass.....which I continued to forget because I was daydreaming about my hair going up in flames like Michael Jackson in the Pepsi commercial......when I stopped twirling the Dude would yell at me....yes, he yelled.

My mug was finally created and Dude added a handle to it and placed it in the heater. All new glass is further heated for 30 hours.

Then Sapphire and Doc went on to make exquisite mugs while mine looked....well, let's call it sad.....

On to the vases.

Dude asked what kind of vase we wanted to make....hmmmm....Diamond made an uber cool one with a long thin neck. he was definitely our all star. Then I was so intimidated, I told the Dude to choose....I would be happy with anything....and so, we made a purple flecked vase that looks like someone other than me made it.

Sapphire and Doc's vases were also hall of famers and as I compared our handy work...mine looked even more sad....kind of pitiful....

Next, we made bowls! BD collects glass bowls and they are spectacular, so I choose beach-y colors for the south. We twirled and blew...twirled...blew...twirled...."KEEP TWIRLING!" the Dude yelled at me. I spun and spun...too fast! Too slow! What are you thinking? he cried?Image result for glass blowing gif

Oy!...then it came time to chip the bowl off the pole....I chipped and chipped...then he yells....hit it! I hit it and my pretty beach-y bowl shattered. The Dude yelled again at me what a waste I was....Seriously, while the three Musketeers watched my bowl shatter and Dude yell at me that I was too uptight....I felt like crying....Then he grabbed the shards and thew them into the trash like he as having a tantrum.

Uh Dude...I am paying you to not yell at me.....boy what a rotten temper he had...AND I had picked up coffee for him during my break.  Who takes honey in their coffee?

Such gratitude....then he says..."glass breaks"...

Thought for the day, week, month, and year...."glass breaks...." Need I say more?

Well, I felt like leaving but the musketeers and Dude made me stay. On to the paper weight.....I wanted to make a cool one for dad's birthday. So, Dude and I worked together again. He was a bit more pleasant although the venom came out only once or twice. I concentrated on twirling and breathing.....paper weight done...looked cool.....

Everyone finished their paper weights...then Dude says..."you have to make another bowl."

No Dude, I want to go home, shower, and watch the super bowl with an extra large Merlot in my non burned hand.
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After pushing me into it, my concentration went back to twirling and blowing...blowing...twirling as the Musketeers watched with great interest. The bowl took shape...started looking better than the shattered one and I felt more confident...although I saw NOT going to chip it off the  wand...I kept saying it..."I am not chipping...." Nope....Dude, you are going to do it....and then the time came...

The bowl attached to the wand was amazing...then it was chip time....

Dude yells "Do it!"

I say: "NO! You do it!"

Dude: "Hit it!"


Dude: "It is going to break! HIT it!"

Then things went fuzzy....I began to hyperventilate knowing that another glass was about to fall when Dude took over,....scolding me the entire time and hit the bowl off the wand. The bowl was in tact. I sighed and ran for my coat.

Before we left. Dude mentioned that my mug had a chip in the glass.
I know I did not do this. He asked if I wanted to create another mug...what do you think my answer was?

Doc picked up our creations yesterday and everything looked nice....except mine that looked kind of...sad....especially my chipped mug.

Oh well, what did I learn?

1. Glassblowing is hot
2. Blowing into the wand is not as easy as it looks
3.Keep twirling and moving the liquid glass
4. You can create some amazing things with a little imagination and the right tools
5. The Dude needs an anger management class (oh yeah, he yelled at Doc too..."I don't care if your arm is burning keep twirling!"
6. I may need therapy after this one....

On to cake decorating class next month....


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