I was sent to what would best be described as a glass blowing survey class; a few hours of instruction and some limited exposure to the art. I have to say it felt good to be back in front of a furnace. Even on the hottest of days in the desert, there is just no way to separate out what one might cite as too much heat from the pleasure of working on tough materials that require immense amounts of fire to shape.
As with metal, working in blown glass can be quite forgiving as you can always reheat and reshape an item that has slowly gone south. Metal however, and in particular Steel loses some of it’s ingredients the more frequent you allow it to cool and heat, the carbon exiting the iron’s structure a little bit at a time when the metal expands.
I enjoyed the instruction and getting to dabble with the materials and tools. I can easily see taking some time to create my own set of drinking glasses, maybe a pitcher or two as items I already have in glass and use frequently. Among the few items that I would also include would be bottles and stands for my writing inks, a decretive stand for my shaving gear, and of course a handful of different lanterns.
The layout for the shop I was at was quite professional. Gas fed furnaces, quality tools, and plenty of space. Apparently it was set up and the time/space is rented out to various artists. That one artist used his rental time to give small classes seemed like a smooth way to cover some of the cost of using the place.
So the two things I made were one, a paperweight, and two, a glass. The paperweight was I think more to allow familiarization with working with glass. The glass, or as some with small hands or figures might call it, a vase, was something I have actual use for. I decided that the paperweight would have a fire or flame theme to it, while the cup/glass would have a coastal/sea feel to it.