For my 40th birthday in January, Jason and Emily gave me a gift-certificate to do a glass sculpting class. Seriously, this was the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever been given.
Jason knows I am a huge fan of glass blowing and glass work. Whenever Dale Chihuly specials are on PBS the channel turns no further…I am mesmerized by glass and heat and molten-ness and the whole idea that from a simple rod of glass come some of the most beautiful pieces of art in the world.
Well, I know it’s August and my birthday was 8 months ago, but today I finally redeemed my coupon and headed to a place called Glasscraft up in Golden, CO, to learn something new. Last week my friend found out I was doing the class and decided to join me, so it was fun to share this experience with her, too!
A bit of history, though, first. I grew up in Arizona. For weekend trips now and then we’d head up to Sedona to explore and wander through the art galleries to appreciate the creativity of local artisans, check out the architecture (my dad was a builder), and to see God’s beautiful creation. Our favorite place was called Tlaquepaque. I’m not sure if the glass blower is still there, but when I was Emily’s age, (which is now 10 and I still have to post about that…), I would head straight to his shop and watch and watch and watch. And, with my hard earned allowance money, I’d add to my collection of trinkets no one needs but every kid thinks they want: glass swan with blue liquid inside, glass unicorn, glass Pegasus, glass swan with different colored liquid inside…you get the idea. Anyway, to a 10 year old girl, this was cool and I remember having an appreciation for glass work at the time.
Fast forward 30 years and today I got to dabble in the art of glass.
I did not blow glass, which is what I thought I was going to be doing, but that’s a class a little higher up the food chain for a first-timer. I did, however, get to sculpt and manipulate it by rolling rods of glass in a propane/oxygen torch flame and stretching it to form it into leaves. Unfortunately they are still at Glasscraft in the kiln…show and tell another day.
Molten glass is totally stinking cool! Except it’s not cool, but so very hot! And, thankfully the only thing I burned off my body today was a few knuckle hairs. It could have been worse…I guess it’s been a while since I took high school chemistry and used one of those flint spark starters.
And, for the record, my knuckles look nice smooth…or something like that!
|The class started at 8:30 but I picked Kiera up at 6:45 and made her go sit at Whole Foods to enjoy the quiet morning, first|
|When wearing safety glasses, one must look like they are straight from MadMen|
|Kiera the ’50’s glass worker|
|Curtis our instructor|
|Kiera hard at work|
|That kid, across the table, is from the Royal Tannenbaums…well at least he looked the part…|
|Me rolling my glass rod into a ball in order to start my leaf|
Overall, this was an awesome experience!
No matter what you choose, I’d encourage you to try something new, or something you’ve always dreamed of doing. Dr. Daniel Amen encourages us, as we age, to stimulate our brains with new experiences and new ways of learning and thinking. Today I made a few new synapses. I feel a little smarter already 😉
That’s awesome. We watched the glass blowing for a while in Bermuda and it was freakin’ hot. But very “cool” like you said. I hope you get to keep at it for long enough to suit your fancy… maybe start a new business. One never knows.