Thanks to a Groupon to a local glass studio Will, Libby and I got to take an introductory lamp working class at Revere Glass School. We had a ton of fun playing with hot glass and propane torches. The principles of glass work are pretty simple and straight forward but the hand coordination takes a lot of practice, much more then a 3 hour class. With help from our instructor we took home some decent looking pieces.
These are our mushrooms in a mushroom. Left to right – Will’s , Mine, the teachers. These are made by heating up the end of a thick glass rod to white hot and then quickly shoving the tip of a thin colored rod into the molten glass. This is called “Pushing a Mushroom”. The top is made but heating the other end of the thick rod and then pushing it into a half circle mold.
The first thing you make in the class is a gravity marble. This is basically just using gravity to help you gather up a lump of glass on the end of your rod with the angle you hold the rod at in the flame, all the while rotating the rod to keep the lump round and even (that’s the tricky part).
The second project was a glass pendant. You heat up the end of a thick rod and then press it on a graphite slab with another graphite tool to flatten in. The color comes from little bits of crushed minerals called frit. Then you heat up the pendant to melt in the color. To make the little bubbles you heat the end of a small rod and dot the hot glass onto the pendant. My pendant crackled a bit as it cooled so I need to go back in and have them heat it up again to get rid of the cracking.
I had always wanted to take a class in glass work, now I want to take more! The only problem is I am kind of out of time and room for another hobby. You can rent studio time at the school but it is (rightly so) not cheap. But if you ever get the chance to take an intro class like this I highly recommend it.