Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Finally, the Blowing!

Finally, the part of glassblowing class I've been waiting for.  We finally *blew* glass.  Meaning, puffed air from our mouths right into the glass. That makes the glass hollow, like the inside of an ornament, or a bowl or a drinking glass (unlike the paperweight and gnome which were solid glass).

Here's glass with a little bit of a bubble on the end (that's my teacher, Amy, demonstrating):

And a bigger bubble: 

The actual effort of blowing a bubble is a little tough and it took me a few tries to get a good bubble.  You've got to keep your thumb and the pipe in your mouth and "pop a bubble" then cap the pipe with your thumb right away.  Then keep your thumb on the end of the pipe while you wait for the bubble to rise up into the glass.  All the while, you've got to keep the rod turning and don't take too long or it will get too cold! It took me a few tries to get it, but I finally got it.  

I felt better when my teacher told me that it took her months of trying before she was able to pop a bubble.  

(A totally pointless tangent, but every time I hear the phrase "pop a bubble" I can't help but think "Papa Bubble."  And then I think of the Smurfs. Is that weird? Yeah, that's weird.)

Here's me, heating my glass in the glory hole (basically, a very hot furnace for reheating your glass to make it more malleable.)  You want the glass really hot when you try to pop a bubble - the hotter the glass, the easier it's going to be. But too hot, and your glass might fall right off your blow pipe!

And marvering it... which means rolling it against a smooth surface to shape it and smooth it out.

When it's nice and smooth, it will be ready to blow.

And blowing it - Papa Bubble! 

I've got to say, I really love my glassblowing pictures. I look like such a badass, right?  
I've wanted to do this for so long, and That's Me! Actually Doing It! I feel totally empowered. 

Thank you to my classmate Katelin for the photography! 

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