Glass working, day 1
This was a great day. The place is huge- much bigger than I imagined- and it has an artsy/blue-collar hip affect that's friendly and not the least bit intimidating. There were six of us at three stations working in pairs and I had a time to make two paperweights. This introduction is pretty simple- a couple of tools, heat and the glass- and then everything is in the technique. After thirty minutes of instruction we were handling the gathering irons, gathering glass (2000 degrees Fahrenheit!) from the crucible in the furnace, picking up frit, heating it in the glory hole (~2900F), rolling it in the blocks, marving, working it with tweezers, making a neck with the jacks, flashing and knocking the glass off the rod (no missed catches today!) for cooling overnight in an 900F annealing oven. The instructor dodged around advising, giving suggestions and helping when we got stuck. There is so much art to it. By the end of the five hours I was just getting the hang of what we had been shown and it was disappointing to have to stop and clean up the workspace. Really amazing. Tomorrow I'll make some more and cold work the pieces from today. This is a great gift!