With fire and breath, I CREATE YOU

27 Oct

I cannot knit, or really sew, or cook anything without explicit instructions beginning with where to find the ingredients in the grocery store and ending with how to correctly chew and swallow the finished project. But I made this from molten glass and the power of my own breath:

It was just a half-hour, one-on-one glass-blowing workshop. The dude who taught me (read: took my hand step by step) had awesome tattoos and assured me that my pumpkin was the greatest he’d ever seen. I was very scared that I was going to suck instead of blow. And that I was going to suck, generally. But it was really fun, and I’d forgotten how awesome it is to learn something you have no reference for whatsoever.

Like, I learn new things in the realms of things-I-already-know: new recipes, new bike routes, new vocabulary words, new dance moves (ha!). But this was a whole new-newness. Like from back when you were a kid, and had never heard of a platypus before, and then you see one and IT BLOWS YOUR MIND.

I kind of want to take more classes. They have proper classes, where you build on skills and such, and more mini-workshops where you just make stuff. The cool thing about the workshops is that they’re really affordable. Like, the glass studio sells these pumpkins wholesale, made by the professionals, for the same amount they charge for you to make one yourself for yourself. Which makes me think that I should’ve tipped my teacher? Crap. Also, I really wanted my teacher to like me. He was so cool. AND he remembered my name when I picked up my pumpkin, so obviously I’m his favorite.

Other glass-blowing things I learned:

1-Never ask a glass-blower if he has ever burned himself. This is like “asking a carpenter if he’s ever hit his thumb with a hammer.” (NOTE: I did not ask this question. I asked the glass-blower-teacher-god what were the most common questions that people asked when he told them he was a glass blower. Which is my go-to question when meeting someone who has an awesome job and I want to not ask a standard lame question like everyone else does. SIDENOTE: with this same tactic I learned that alligator wranglers often get asked about that whole jaw-too-weak-to-open-if-you-hug-it thing. So don’t ask them that, if you want to be cool.)

2-If you were to, say, suck in when you should be blowing . . . it would be bad. But it is has never happened to a student at this place, so. I would be the first!

3-there are like, five different furnaces you have to put the glass in at various stages before it is finished, all at different levels of heat. Then it has to go in this kiln type place, which requires a full body suit, hazmat-style, just to get close to. It’s nuts! How did anyone ever discover this?

4-the metal rod things are REALLY HEAVY and I am REALLY WEAK. 

5-It was so hot when I was putting the glass in the furnaces, I was really more than a little worried that my contacts would somehow get so hot that they would fuse to my eyes. This did not happen. But how gross would that be?

The rest of the night I was quoting this 30 Rock scene to myself, but substituting “glass” for “moon”:



2 Responses to “With fire and breath, I CREATE YOU”

  1. vivren October 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    OMG AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How did you make the curly stem?

    P.S. I can’t imagine inhaling instead of blowing. Something tells me that inhaling air that has been heated to a million degrees by molten glass is probably bad.

  2. camalittle October 28, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    you twist some molten glass around the molten glass pipey-thingy (long metal rod, basically) until it’s wrapped around in a curlicue, then use another molten glass pipey-thingy to push it off so it sticks on the pumpkin, and wait a minute to make sure it holds it’s shape before pulling the inner molten glass pipey-thingy out of the middle of the curl.

    I was too busy worrying about inhaling to pay attention to the real names of the tools, apparently . . .

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