During the HintonburgHappening there were all kinds of arts events — try a potter’s wheel, go to women’s drumming circles, make a thankfulness kit, watch (or assist) a magician, watch paintings being painted, be photographed by the LoveOttawaProject. One option was to go to the glass blowers.
It’s the same as pottery, in that you’re shaping the earth, except you’re dealing with melted sand at 2200 freaking degrees or so.
We’ve gone twice before to glassblowers that offered the chance but I wimped out.
I made it myself, kinda. Flo Glass Blowing does the kiln, tools, materials, explanations, guidance, but you get to be involved.
While we were there there were 4 other pairs where one person photographed the friend doing this.
You could make it and then opt for it to be melted away again or pay and keep it for $15 which is around half the usual price.
Blow and stop when Melody says. Sounded a little like lamaze class. It was surprisingly hard to blow. Like a balloon, a lot of blowing to start and push thru the mass then less, in this case to not blow out the end of the bubble as the teacher rolls and shapes the other end.
Some people could blow steady and hard and fast and made a big bubble quickly. Others didn’t have the wind and it had to be taken back and reheated once or twice more. Some ended up with a big, medium or small ball. Mine needed a reheat. Apparently I’m not full of hot air.
The instructors, Melody or Stephanie while we were there, cut it off the metal rod, added the molten gob and stretched and twisted it to make the eyelet for a string.
The colors while hot are different than what they’ll return to when cooled. All that padding is round-shaped and keeps the heat safely away before it goes in the fridge. The glass looks cool but they marked your number with chalk. The chalk flashed into fire.
I blew it last week. It cools a little bit quickly but entirely slowly. It takes a controlled slow cooling to not crack.
With that many people coming thru people have to cooperate in a system to keep the place in working order. Case in point:
They have a video at their site showing inside the studios. They have several classes to do things from paperweights to oil lanterns and glasses. You can rent studio time as with a pottery place. While you’re there you might notice there’s a stained glass store/studio a couple doors down in the same strip mall. They also do classes.