20110109

Megsy #38- Blowing Glass

After working all day, meeting Dave Cornthwaite in London for an hour to discuss 100Things, heading out to Heathrow and flying 26+ hours to Australia, hiring a car and driving 3 hours, you'd think I'd just go to sleep...but instead I immediately took a glass blowing workshop for a part of my 100Things challenges! 

I've been an avid fan and collector of art glass for years. I just love everything about art glass- colours, designs and I still swoon when I see a Dino Martens Murano piece! They're as valuable as paintings by the great artists with my 'holy grail' -Oriente series by Murano- selling for thousands and thousands of pounds! I've always known the craftsmanship involved in creating pieces, having seen masters at work in Venice, Italy. But watching and doing are two very different things!

My friend Vanessa joined me for the 2 day workshop over a weekend at Canberra's Glassworks where we made Christmas baubles and a small vase. Our instructors, Bern and Akiko, demonstrated each step of the process- from blowing the pipe, collecting the 'gather' (dipping the pipe into molten glass), cooling the pipe, rolling in coloured glass beads, blowing the bubble, using the jack to shape and the separation step- making the whole thing look so easy! It was tricky on the 1st day as I couldn't manage to form a bubble (hey- I'm blaming jetlag!) but by the 2nd day it was much easier. The glass was heated at over 1200degrees and like hot honey, needed constant turning so that it wouldn't drip on the floor. I drank more water in 6 hours than I had in 6 days, or so it felt, and I thoroughly recommend taking a frozen water bottle as it stays cold! Canberra Glassworks studio has an observation gallery which is open to the public and so we had the support of an audience also. 

I made 3 Christmas baubles, all perfectly round, that can test the strength of the strongest of Xmas trees! But kudos to Bern for allowing me (and the class) to attempt a vase. I didn't realise that it involved a few additional steps but having said that, it was absolutely worth it! My wonky lipped teal vase holds a single flower and takes pride of place alongside my Holmegaard and Kosta Boda pieces in my room.




Taking the 'gather' (glass heated at 1200degrees+)



Taking the 'gather' (glass heated at 1200degrees+)


Vanessa gets the pipe cooled


 Vanessa rolling the gather in coloured beads


Blowing my 1st bubble!


Graduation! Complete with 1st Xmas bauble

Northern Beaches Wedding Photography

Northern Beaches Wedding Photography
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