Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Glassblowing in Newport

This weekend my mom, sister and I went to Newport for my Mom's birthday. We saw the mansions

This is the breakers the largest of all the Newport mansions.

took in the gorgeous ocean views on the cliff walk

and did a little shopping. While walking along Thames street (which has a lot of nice little shops and places to eat) we found this amazing glassblowing studio that lets you take a lesson.

I've always, always wanted to try glassblowing. While I was in college it was offered but at only one time slot during spring semester. Each year I would put it on my schedule only to be forced to drop it because it conflicted with a class I had to take for my major. Almost 8 years later and I finally, finally got to try my hand at working with glass!

I was so excited when I signed up and wasn't disappointed- in less than an hour the instructor was putting my paperweight into the annealer (oven used to cool glass slowly so it doesn't crack).

The lesson is really designed so that the instructor does all of the hard parts and you end up with a gratifyingly presentable piece- but it was enough to give me a taste of what glass work is like and I enjoyed every second of it.

Above the instructor is cooling off the rod that the glass is gathered on.

Here I am torching the bottom of the glass to make a smooth flat surface for the paperweight to sit on.

I'm getting both the paperweight I made and the blown glass ornament my sister made shipped to me (combining the shipping was cheaper) and I can't wait to see how they turned out. The instructor said the colors would end up looking pretty true to how they looked in the trays.

We each picked three colors, but I really have no idea what either piece will look like since they were red hot when they were finished and put inside the annealer. I'll be sure to post pictures when they get here!

1 comment:

  1. How fun! I can't wait to see how they turned out! :)


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