Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Day of Glass Blowing!

So, as you may remember, I started my glass blowing class at the Banana Factory's Glass Works Foundry today... Oh my gosh. Glass blowing is hard and hot work! It's definitely not an art for sissies, that's for sure! The "glory holes," where you heat your glass, are over 2000 degrees. There are three of them in the foundry, and they're on all the time. I started sweating the moment I showed up for class! I've been out of the class for 30 minutes now, and I'm still blazing hot! My face is red as a tomato, and my arms are mottled red from being so close to the heat for so long.

However, I learned a LOT and I made a glass paper weight. Ha ha. It's in the kiln now, as they all need to cool down very slowly from their super-heated state. Next week I'll get it back, and I'll post a picture of it. Whew! Hot!

Here are some pictures of the foundry, which I took while waiting my turn.
Glory hole to the right

Working molten glass

It was hard work, with a lot of safety issues to remember and pay attention to, but it was so much fun! I cooked my arms, which is easy to do, heating up and working the glass. In the last two pictures, you can see that you work the glass very close to you. It's 2000 degrees and cooling, but you're right up next to it. My skin isn't used to that kind of heat, and turned all red and blotchy, as did other people with thin skin. I'll need to toughen up before next week... things will be getting more intense! Bigger projects are on the horizon! 

I just want to say "Thank you, Keith!" to my boyfriend, for buying me this awesome class! I love learning something new, and especially something like this... I've always wanted to learn, but never actually thought that I would. And here I am! Yay! Can't wait to show you all what I made! I'm glad the next class isn't until next week... my arms are TIRED! Also, I'm hoping the weather is cooler... today was almost 80, and humid, and it made for an even hotter working environment. I seriously drank six large cups of water during the three hours I was in class... and another one right now! 

I'm off to bed, will have this post in the morning. I took a cool shower when I got home at 9:45 (15 minutes after leaving class) and I'm only now cooling off... it's 10:15 pm. Whew!  


Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Your bf is a keeper, Shari!
Must be so fascinating to watch the whole process in person!

shari said...

Thanks, Lenore, I agree! Yes, it's so cool to watch and to actually work the molten glass... hot work, but so fascinating!! It's like thick taffy, but way way hotter... {whew!}

Orion Designs said...

I have watched glass blowing (one of Rick's friends is a glass blower at Orient & Flume in Chico) and am amazed at the strength required. But the results are equally amazing!

Brandi said...

I give you credit for trying a new art! I've always admired glassblowers, but I never really thought about the heat. It's good that you're doing it now than in August/September huh?

shari said...

Thanks, Brandi! Wait til I post an actual glass bauble! :-)

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