I took an elective though the glass program this quarter, and got to spend 10 weeks working in a flame shop and hot shop. The flame shop is where people use torches to make little things, like dolphins and marbles. Hot shop is where people do glass blowing with furnaces. I have to say that the hot shop was my pretty cool. It’s amazing – the furnaces that house the melted glass run at something like 2,100º and once they are turned on are never turned off. They have to be hooked up to a generator if the power fails. If they do turn off and the glass cools, it contracts and literally makes the whole furnace implode. So you can imagine getting right up to that furnace is pretty intense. Now I’m not the best at glass blowing, but the whole experience was great, so if you ever have the change to take a class in glass blowing or are in Corning where you can take a class at one of the glass shops there, do it.
(left to right: lopsided paperweight with ‘party mix’ colored frit, glass grass sculpture made in flame shop, ugly bottle made of golden glass)