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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

glassmaking

One of the things I've been interested in for a really long time is lampwork glass. It's how you make those amazing glass beads with the interesting textures and colors; it involves melting glass in a torch and then winding it around a steel rod and then putting bits of other glass and sometimes other stuff into it and then cooling it all down until it's a bead.

When we bought the house, Don and I were really excited about the garage. Half of it is already set aside as a wood workshop -- Don told me the other day that he knew just how he was going to set it up. I stared and him blankly and said, "But it's already set up! Your grandpa and your uncle used that woodshop for something like forty years!" He rolled his eyes like I was an idiot and explained that his workshop had to be set up in a certain way. Whatever.

The other half of the garage is totally unfinished. It doesn't even have a floor. There's just bits of plywood strewn over dirt. It's full of random Brinkley detritus (including a school locker from when somebody worked as a janitor at Lansdowne High and... relocated... a locker to the garage for storage purposes -- last I checked it was full of old fluorescent light bulbs). Someday, this side of the garage will become a glass studio. Both of us are interested in glassmaking -- I'm more interested in the small, delicate torchwork, whereas Don wants to learn to blow glass and do larger kilnwork (think vases, bowls, and ashtrays, not beads). So it'll be a hobby that we can share without getting in each other's way. The studio is a long way in the future; obviously, both the house and the yard are higher on our list of priorities.

But I'm still interested in glass. And I'm thinking about maybe taking a lampworking course at Vitrum Studios. Maybe I can get Lindley to join me. Maybe I'll be able to find time in between classes and work and house stuff. Wouldn't that be fun?

For more stuff on glassworking in this area, check out the Mid-Atlantic Glass Beadworkers.

2 comments:

jm@houseinprogress said...

I love art glass...would love to learn how to work with it. That's hardcore! Did you know that Eric at Ranch Redo is a glassblower for a living? Seriously.

Jamaila said...

Tell you what, if I ever get around to making any, I'll send you some. ;)

And no, I didn't know! Maybe I can pump his brain. Or rather, Don can -- I'm a little too scared of fire to do the big stuff. He loves it, though. There's a great gallery in Seattle that has their studio right in the back with glass walls so you can see in, and every time we go to visit my dad, we wind up spending hours there with our noses pressed up against the glass like total dorks. ;)