Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Glass Class

I am an eager and excited glassblowing student. I've taken a lot of classes in my life, and I always want to be a good student and learn a lot. The teacher recommended a book, Beginning Glassblowing by Edward T. Schmid, I bought it.  (Well, Jon bought it for me.)  The teacher recommended that we start a sketch book.  I started one, even though I'm terrible at drawing.  (In Beginning Glassblowing, Ed Schmidt also recommends keeping a sketch book and assures bad drawers that they will get better with practice.)  I made some sketches, and my teacher complimented them and showed them to the rest of the class. 

I haven't actually blown any glass yet.  I have made glass, but we're still working with solids so there has been no "blowing" involved, yet.  Next week we have the week off because of Thanksgiving but in two weeks, I'm assured we'll actually be glassblowing.

My classes are four hours long, once per week, which means that I get a big chunk of time to practice each week, but still, I could do it more! I wish I could be in the hot shop (the glass studio) every day! 

My class is great and my teachers are fabulous and the studio is amazing.

How amazing is the studio? 

This is the bathroom! 

Seriously, the bathroom!

I guess I should have gotten a shot of the toilet for perspective. I think those are dichromatic glass plates embedded into concrete on the walls, floor to ceiling.  I can't imagine how long that took. You can sort of see me in the mirror reflection in the second photo. 

I don't have any photos of the rest of the studio yet.  Just the bathroom.  I keep meaning to take some photos during class, but once I get into it, I get into it! The four hours fly by.

Here's my first project, the paperweight I made last week:
The photo isn't great (I took it on my iPhone).  I was trying to get it in natural light to show the true colors, but instead you get a good reflection of the neighboring building.

Maybe I'll try to take it out into nature to photograph it, I know that's what Dale Chihuly would do. 
Maybe my next step should be a photography class so that I can do my work some justice. 

I've never really done anything before that forced me to try to be artistically creative and to use a non-literal or non-scientific part of my brain, and I find it both challenging and stimulating at the same time.  I knit, but I usually stick to following patterns, or modifying patterns only slightly.

In glassblowing class, I try to be a perfect student, take a lot of notes and pay close attention but when it's my turn to try a technique, many times I'll ask the instructor "Am I doing this right?"  Sometimes, when there's an issue of safety, for example, she'll correct me or other students, but most of the time her answer is, "It's your piece, what do you think is right? How do you want it to look?"

How refreshing.

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