My husband has always been great at finding activities for us. This time he found a local glass artist, Peter Patterson, that teaches his passion to others.
There are three ‘ovens’ in the making of glass. The first is just called the furnace, where the glass is melted in a crucible and gathered on the blowpipe or mandrel. The second is the glory-hole, which is used during the creation of the project. This photo is one of the final furnaces called the lehr or annealer. It is used to slowly cool the glass over a period of a few days, all of which depends on the size of the piece. This prevents the glass from cracking or shattering due to thermal stress. On top were some of the colored shards we used to color some of the projects.
Here were the 4 projects we were going to complete this evening. A swirled, molded paperweight, an ornament, a flower and lastly, a choice of ring holder / pen holder / card holder or another paperweight.
Tools of the trade.
Here is the seat of knowledge! I noticed right away that it was set-up for righties… No Biggie. It’s great us lefties generally are ambidextrous.
One of the glory-holes is in the background.
Here my hubby is creating a score line where the paperweight will be broken off the mandrel. He spins the mandrel and applies mild pressure with a tweezers type tool. Later, he will hold it over a catch bin and tap the mandrel to disconnect it.
After glass is gathered onto the mandrel, it must be pulled towards the end of the mandrel by rolling the glass on a steel table. This process is called marvering, which forms a cool skin on the exterior of the molten glass blob. This aids blown projects to not ‘pop’ it also blends colors when doing our non-bowing type projects.
After marvering his glass blob, the blob needed to be reheated to a more liquid state to be able to pour it into our card holder base. It was not easy to keep rotating the rod as the glass melted, not too fast to fling it off the rod and not too slow as to let it drip…
Here Hubby pours the molten glass, while twisting the mandrel to create the spin of the colors in the base. It was poured onto a rough base to create texture on the bottom.
The glass was pinched off and reheated with a torch so the hole for the wire clip could be added after it cooled.
Some things like making a glass loop was a bit too much for our first day. Here Mr. Patterson adds a finishing touch.
Here is the start of our flower. Colors had already been added (this was a yellow/green mix – doesn’t look like it at all when hot) and the texture of the petals crimped. Here, Hubby clips and elongates his petals.
Here are our finished projects! I’m going to need more practice… My husband was a natural! Go figure… He’s a double art major and specialized in sculpture and molding metals.
Here are the rest. We had a bunch of fun at this class and intend on going to more. Mr. Patterson also has a gallery / museum and sells his art at great, affordable prices.