So now...about my workshop! The kids bought me a workshop about two years ago for Mother's Day...due to my schedule and the glass works schedule, it was put off until yesterday.
I arrived at the Pine Lake Glassworks at 1:00 p.m. for my three hour workshop! And we worked the entire 3 hours...well, the owner Dave Hilty worked hard! Mr. Hilty is very organized and had a great workshop outline which he followed easily. He's quite knowledgeable and obviously quite good at this art form. Just look at some of his pieces on his web site here. Anyway, he started out showing me the basic principles, safety and tools of glass making.
Next, he got right to work making a paperweight! He explained each step, which i tried to maintain in my mind, as I was up next to make a paperweight for myself! It really was intimating reaching the pipe into the glass furnace to capture some melted glass...
Obviously, I couldn't take pics of myself, so just replace Mr. Hilty with me! OK, so I wasn't that good at capturing the glass or controlling it but I did make a paperweight!! There are several steps to just make a solid paperweight! You start with glass, gather more glass pieces, add more clear glass, shaping..yada, yada...there's a lot to it!!!! Who knew!
Next up Mr. Hilty showed how to make a Christmas ornament. This really is an art to master! You have to gather your glass, then 'puff' into the blow pipe to create a small bubble. Then it's on to gather more color or 'frit' as it's called...more heating...more shaping and blowing to achieve the size you want! Whew! It was so amazing to see Mr. H. make the glass turn into a thin, delicate ornament!
|If you look close you can see a small bubble started!|
So now it's my turn...and we were working pretty good! That is up until it was back in the furnace to heat the glass ornament and I let the pipe fall to the ground...YIKES!!!! Oh no!!! I felt so bad because, first, it was my ornament and second, I don't like to waste anything...all I could see was the glass on the cement floor.
Mr. H. was so kind and said, "no, we'll do it again. No problem." And that's what we did..but once again, I caused a bit of an 'oops' by squeezing the tongs too much...I closed off the opening he needed to blow into the bubble to increase the size! But, hey, that's ok. I ended up with a cool shape for an ornament...actually, it looks more like an egg shape so I figure I can have it sitting out all year long!!! These are some pictures of Mr. H showing me how to shape pieces of heated glass. This was his paperweight.
|Actually, I think this is my paperweight...I had lots of glass on the pipe!! The round area at the bottom is actually my paperweight...now you can see how much extra glass I grabbed from the furnace!|