Learning the Trade

Glass blowing is such a mesmerizing art form. The whole idea of shaping and molding a molten ball into a beautiful bowl, float or garden sculpture is enchanting in itself. I’ve been attracted to glass art ever since my mother introduced me to Chihuly when I was a little girl. And now that I live in such a vibrant place for glass art, my interest has grown into somewhat of an obsession.

This summer I finally got to take a glass blowing class at the University of Oregon Craft Center. The first thing I remember is going to gather the molten glass onto my pipe and realizing how seriously hot the furnaces are! I was unprepared for the sweltering heat that boiled in the studio; and felt like a complete amateur next to our instructor, who was literally brushing his hot piece with his bare fingers. What a rock star. By the end of the month I made a bunch of pieces I was really happy with, and I got so much help in making them. The glass culture is so nurturing and supportive, and after my first doubts were quickly squandered by everyone’s support and help in the studio.

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I think that’s the best thing about learning to blow glass. You NEED someone else’s help. You seriously don’t have enough hands to manage all the tools at once, so the studio becomes this sort of family. I can’t wait to take more classes and expand my glass family!

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