Mary and I took a glassblowing class yesterday at Diablo Glass School. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was half expecting to work with little blow torches. I was most definitely not expecting to stick a metal rod into a 2100-degree furnace full of molten glass. And then sit on a bench and form the red hot glass using tools with my right hand. (I’m 105% left handed.)
WTF!!! As the head instructor explained the process, Mary and I murmured back and forth, What did we get ourselves into/I’m scared/That furnace is really hot/How are we going to do anything with our right hand (She is also left handed).
Luckily, there were multiple instructors and we all got one-on-one attention. Otherwise I would not have made it out of there without third-degree burns. We made paperweights; I didn’t even care what mine looked like. I just wanted to make it through the process unscathed!
After checking out the Chihuly exhibit at the MFA a couple of weeks ago, I ordered a video called Chihuly in the Hotshop on Netflix. It arrived a couple of days ago, so I watched it last night. Now I can TRULY appreciate what these glassblowers do. The video was taken in 2006, when Chihuly did a weeklong residency at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. He invited a bunch of gaffers (glassblowers) and artists he had worked with throughout his career to come and make pieces from the different series that they used to work on with him (Persians, Baskets, Ikebana, etc.). It is simply amazing to watch!
I don’t know if I will keep up with the glassblowing. But I may try my hand at those little blow torches.