Thursday, April 02, 2015

B is for....Beer.

It's my day off.  It was a busy day.  I am going to have a beer in my hand-blown tumbler.  I made it.

I took a glass-blowing class in the spring, and I loved it. I signed up amid visions of building my own glass-blowing studio in the garage, hanging out with a gang of artsy glass-blowers, and creating stunning pieces of glass art.

My visions were quickly shattered soon after entering the workshop of Keith Walker of Blow in the Dark Glassworks.

I mean, look at his stuff!  Who wouldn't want to create it?

Anway, it was very much apparent that it would take a great deal of expertise to not only build a glass studio but to operate it.  Wow.  I was impressed.  And I loved the glass-blowing.  A little scary, somewhat tentative, and it took a lot of hand-holding to create a few pieces in this weekend class, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want to do more.  The colours.  The challenge.  The result.  Working with molten glass on a long pole is like working with liquid candy at the soft-ball stage.  It wants to drip.

Maybe some day I'll go back and do a bit more, but if you want to get into real glass-blowing, you need the facility and training to do it.  There is nothing in Edmonton.  Maybe one day when I win the lottery ;)

The only downer I didn't expect was the spit-swapping, and I'm not sure why I didn't expect this.  In retrospect it seems silly not to have expected it, but I thought I would be the only one blowing into my own blowpipe.  Working glass is a two- or three-person job, at least for beginners, and you have to turn the pole while you are blowing to keep the shape of the glass.  You HAVE to slop up your lips.  I sorta tried to keep track of which pole was mostly mine, but there's really no way around it without looking like a total germaphobe.  Yah, it might've been a good idea to book that class with a friend :)

Still, a great experience, and the people I was swapping spit with were really nice and much more cool about it than I was.  Keith was great to work with and very patient and tolerant of us nubes.  And I was really happy with my "suck-bowl" (so called because you blow a bubble and then suck in to create the bowl) and my tumbler.  The little hunk of glass next to the suck-bowl below is stamped glass...if you hold it up it has a lion's face, so it was a drop of molten glass with a stamp pressed into it.

Next glass blowing-venture I go smaller.  I have a gift certificate from Pixie Glassworks.

Oh.  And I drink Labatt's Blue.


  1. Glass blowing always looked really interesting. I'll have to see if there's somewhere in Vancouver where I can go to give it a shot.

  2. You created some beautiful stuff in the class, and I love the rim on the tumbler. It's one of those things that sounds nice 'in theory', nice to see it's nice in practice too.

    -Pax, (currently) 500 on the Blogging A-Z list