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04 Sep 2015 1,400 views
 
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photoblog image The Glassblower

The Glassblower

Last semester I took glass as one of my classes.  What an experience!

 

I have discovered I am more a spectator than artist in this field, but, I am back again for another try.

 

Tuesdays was demo day, the day our professor tortured us novice students by making grand pieces we "could" master, in spite of the fact we were proudly taking home little 2 inch, mishapen blobs of clear glass that we named according to the assignment of the day.

 

You can see a reflection of several students standing and watching in the blue of the  bowl.  The HotShop is just outside the campus building, enclosed in a stockade-like fence area, where a furnace of molten glass, two smaller warmers called "glory holes," and pipe warmers were housed.  

 

The artists dips the pipe into the furnace, gathers glass, then quickly cools it to a "blowable" temperature by rolling it on a steel table.  The process involves including color into more than one gathering, then more blowing to stretch the piece to the desire shape and size.  

 

Artists work in teams -- -- one blowing the glass while the other uses tools as simple as wet newspaper to coax and shape. The vessel is blown, stretched, and carressed until a work of art evolves.

 

Sadly, this lovely footed bowl became shattered casualty on the Hot Shop floor, when the transfer from the blow pipe to a "punty," and finally to the aneeler to cure failed.  There was a collective gasp when it fell, as in slow motion.  The bowl that took over an hour to create existed only in the memory of those of us that were there.    

The Glassblower

Last semester I took glass as one of my classes.  What an experience!

 

I have discovered I am more a spectator than artist in this field, but, I am back again for another try.

 

Tuesdays was demo day, the day our professor tortured us novice students by making grand pieces we "could" master, in spite of the fact we were proudly taking home little 2 inch, mishapen blobs of clear glass that we named according to the assignment of the day.

 

You can see a reflection of several students standing and watching in the blue of the  bowl.  The HotShop is just outside the campus building, enclosed in a stockade-like fence area, where a furnace of molten glass, two smaller warmers called "glory holes," and pipe warmers were housed.  

 

The artists dips the pipe into the furnace, gathers glass, then quickly cools it to a "blowable" temperature by rolling it on a steel table.  The process involves including color into more than one gathering, then more blowing to stretch the piece to the desire shape and size.  

 

Artists work in teams -- -- one blowing the glass while the other uses tools as simple as wet newspaper to coax and shape. The vessel is blown, stretched, and carressed until a work of art evolves.

 

Sadly, this lovely footed bowl became shattered casualty on the Hot Shop floor, when the transfer from the blow pipe to a "punty," and finally to the aneeler to cure failed.  There was a collective gasp when it fell, as in slow motion.  The bowl that took over an hour to create existed only in the memory of those of us that were there.    

comments (9)

i loved your descriptions of events in the creation of the bowl Jennie... i like your photo showing the reflection of the students watching the process... the good part about the broken bowl is that they can still use the glass to create another piece of art....petersmile
Jennie: Thank you, peter
This is a wonderful photo, Jennie - one of your best! I enjoyed the story - and I imagine there's a life story in there somewhere...
Jennie: Hi, Elizabeth, everything these days has a life story for me. Who would imagine that at 67 I would be in the mix of students pursuing an education for no other reason than because I always wanted to. A brand new world has opened up for me and yet another level of appreciation has developed for Charles, the love of my life who encourages me to remain on this path until my appetite for the knowledge is sated.
What a superb capture Jennie! Looking at Glassblowers working is so fascinating...
I enjoyed reading the story.
Jennie: Thanks, Richard. I am finding that the world of glass has so many avenues to explore. My first project this semester is glass casting, so, I had to delve into the unfamiliar world of sculpting in clay to create my model. Cannot wait to see what my lost wax clay man looks like . . . .
  • Ray
  • Thailanddy plu
  • 4 Sep 2015, 09:15
One of your best, Jennie.
Jennie: Thank you, Ray!
A friend of my daughter took up glass blowing and is doing beautiful work. I love all aspects of glass - hot or cold.
Jennie: Hi, Mary, I have a few odd-shaped pieces adorning my fireplace mantel. They are a testament to the fact I have a long way to go to perfect the glass blowing skill. The heat and enough breath were challenges for me, but, more advanced students, and my professor worked with me, sharing their own stories of how long it took them to get good at it.
What a shame Jennie. Lucky you took a picture of it. Sounds like an interesting thing to do
Jennie: I loved demonstration Tuesdays. Some amazing pieces were created. My professor told me his bowls, vases, and sculptures are donated to charity auctions to generate funds for those causes, and patrons for the Art department at the school.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 5 Sep 2015, 21:26
And now it exists in my memory, too smile This is a great shot. That must be a course, full of photo opportunities.
Jennie: Thanks, Louis. The course is definitely a gold mine for photo opportunities, and each of us that are also in photo classes took advantage of every single one!!
too bad it didn't last
Jennie: Yes, Larry, it is a shame it broke, but there were so many masterpieces that survived the Demo Tuesday workshops.
A fine photo with your memory of the experience.

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