Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day.  I woke up early and got going because I was so excited for my first glassblowing class.  I got to the Belltown neighborhood about a half-hour early and found the studio was still closed.  Luckily, I remembered that Top Pot Doughnuts (one of my favorite things about Seattle when we visited in 2007!) was just across the street.

When I walked in there was no line. I got a salted caramel doughnut and a big mug of coffee.  Delicious! I sat by the window to people-watch and found that, seconds later, there was a long line in the shop.  I guess I got there just in time.  I saw a lot of people buying dozens of doughnuts.  As it was almost 9 a.m., I imagined that their co-workers were going to be very happy at work that morning.

 Then I walked over to Seattle Glassblowing Studio for my first class.  It was great!  My teacher's name is Amy and there are only 4 students in our class.  Since we will also have a T.A. starting next week, it will be almost like private or semi-private lessons with lots of great one-on-one interaction with our instructors.  Amy was great, she explains things very clearly, is very calm and patient and is an excellent instructor.  She's also from Rochester, so maybe that explains it.  Class was 6 hours long and I wish I had taken some photos during the class.  Next time!

For the first class we got a tour of the studio, learned lots of terminology, safety instructions and then we got to playing with glass!  I'll admit that I was a little nervous - if anyone is going to be the one to burn their hand off, it would be me.  But, so far so good, I've got all my fingers!  And no burns!

We gathered glass, which means taking it from the furnace and practiced shaping solid glass (no glass "blowing" yet - that's next week!).  I was kind of sad to throw my first couple of attempts into the recycling bin.  Even though they were just practice pieces, globs of clear glass, I wanted to see what they looked like when they cooled.  But they were not destined to make it into the annealer, the oven used to harden the glass.   Then we got to play with color - we used frit which is colored glass powder that we pushed our glass into before twisting and shaping the glass.  Then our instructed dipped the projects into clear glass that we smoothed out (harder than it looks!) to make a paperweight.  I can't wait to pick up my paperweight and see how my first finished item came out!  It takes "at least 24 hours" in the annealer so maybe I'll make another trip to Belltown tomorrow!

After class I decided to take the bus to Trader Joe's in the Queen Anne to pick up some groceries.  It was probably not my best idea - it's not easy for me to shop light at TJ's and yesterday was no exception.  I ended up lugging two large bags of groceries back on the bus when I probably could have waited and drove over there.  But it was ok.  At least the bus wasn't crowded.  As I waited for the bus, it was sunny and bright, and I snapped this quick pic of the Space Needle.  

Meanwhile, back at home they were getting hit by a nor'easter, just a week or so after Hurricane Sandy.  Many people had just gotten their power back while others still hadn't gotten their power back.  The Jersey Shore especially got hit hard, twice.  I'm thinking of everyone back home, but I'm not afraid to admit, I'm glad I'm not there.

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