blowing out a hole on the bottom of the piece
enlarging the hole and opening up the vessel
'blocking' the vessel with wood paddles to thicken the walls
I've had a project in mind for awhile. A large sculpture using glass. This past weekend was devoted to getting this project off the ground. My mom and Lucky (my pup) spent the past few days camping with me in Nauvoo, Illinois while I worked across the street with Jim Topic of Nauvoo Glassworks.
Finding a glassblower in the Midwest is not an easy thing. The glass movement is primarily based in the Northwest for many good reasons. Foremost being the weather. Nobody wants to stand in front of a blazing hot furnace and play with molten glass in 90 degree plus humidity weather. After finding a select few glass blowers in surrounding states the next matter was finding one who would take on such a small and specific project. I had planned to be involved but I hadn't planned to be nearly as involved as I was working with Jim!
While at RISD I had considered majoring in glassblowing. I had tried my hand at it before and had been lampworking for almost 4 summers at that point. In order to make my decision I took a wintersession of glassblowing. After witnessing a major nasty accident, the trials and tribulations of hauling glass pieces to shows, and contemplating the start up costs alone I made the decision to become a jeweler. After this weekend I am doubly glad!
There's something mesmerizing about the flow of molten glass. The magic of the material as it begins to firm up into a shape you've coaxed out of it. Vivid colors, immediate textures, light playing in the transparency. Luckily I have the ability to still witness these qualities on a small scale in front of my torch.