Questions about glassblowing
Have you tried one of our glassblowing classes? We keep them small and offer classes almost all year with both seasonal and standard offerings. Many thanks to our inquisitive guests who have brought us the best questions from this week:
How does the weather affect glassblowing?
Strangely enough, it's more perilous for the glass in the summer than in the winter - at least here in Texas. Molten glass is so hot it's glowing, it radiates heat. In the winter, when all the doors are closed and we're huddled up against the furnace, the glass is happy because it has a layer of warm air wherever it goes. But in the summer, we have every fan, a/c unit, and swamp cooler on and blowing to keep the hot shop at reasonable temperatures for us humans. Those fans strip the glass of its warm air layer, causing it to cool faster and require more heat to remain workable. More heat in the summer, who would've guessed?
What do you mean that you knock the glass off "when it feels right"?
Fair question, because you can't actually touch the glass (even though that desire never goes away), but you can have tactile feedback with the sound the glass makes. In our ornament and friendship globe glassblowing classes, we chill the constriction between the blowpipe and the orb to prepare for the knockoff. When it's time, we give the blowpipe a light, but firm, tap and it breaks away from the orb. If we do it too early, the center of the glass is still gooey and won't separate but if it's too late we'll lose a big chunk of the orb and can't finish the piece. It's that small window of time - between gooey and broken - where we're looking for the right feeling/sound to let us know it's ready. In that sense, it's also about the artist whose life work is the pursuit of awareness of the rhythm of the glass.
So try a glassblowing class with us, bring your burning questions, and see the artist working glass magic.