Empowerment in Manipulating Glass
|The Glory Hole|
|Kaylee and TL|
|Glass Paperweight I made in 2009|
Making the paperweight had involved much manipulation of the glass through shaping, forming, and stretching but not much blowing and I wanted that experience.
|Kaylee moving her initial glass blob|
to the glory hole.
|TL heating the glass in the glory hole|
My instructor gave me quiet, constant instruction and encouragement.
I remembered for a moment my first experience blowing glass when I made the paperweight. I'd felt quite distracted by a desire to make sure everyone else enjoyed the experience. Loay, Mom, and my nephew, Tyler, made their own projects. Dad and Aunt Geri watched from the audience area.
This time I didn't have those concerns, so I was able to concentrate on my project more intensely. I wanted to do more but soon realized there's only so much one can do in a thirty minute class, which is why I've come to think of it more as an experience. The teacher needs to keep the project moving along mainly because the glass cools rapidly making it difficult to shape but also so other people can enjoy the experience. They have a schedule to keep. Each time the glass cools too much, it has to go back in the glory hole to heat enough to manipulate again.
So I focused on my project and on what my teacher said and watched intensely the parts he did that I couldn't. And, I imagined doing those steps myself.
|TL using the wooden form.|
|Kaylee manipulating the glass to|
create the design.
|Kaylee blowing the glass|
|TL blowing the glass|
the fluted bowl shape
I both wanted to do this part and was relieved he did it. How exciting it would be to create that effect, but I get the impression that's an advanced technique. I watched the bowl take shape and felt a sense of accomplishment even given the collaborative effort.
|Stamping the bowl.|
Then there was the wait for the final product...
|Kaylee's bowl ready |
for the annealer.
One consistent feeling between the two experiences was the sense of self-expression, freedom, and empowerment that came from the process of trying something I'd never dreamed I could do.
Granted, I didn't learn enough to try anything like this on my own, but what I did accomplish reminded me I have the power to learn new things and to create new experiences in my life...
|TL's finished product|
|Kaylee's finished product|