Monday, April 20, 2009

Whirly Glass and Whirly Bugs

Teaching the students this term at COA is drumming up all sorts of fond memories of what it was like when I first discovered hot glass. Alex said this weekend after making a chubby, light bending, little glass vessel, "This is so much fun". And well you can't put it any better than that. But you can ask why? Why is it so much fun? Is it all the primitive basic forces we wrangle with, fire, gravity, and fluidity that fill a modern void? Or is it the place that our brain goes to, or leaves behind, when we are totally focused on the harmonious movements required from our body as we glide through the hot shop balancing a hot sparkling blob out on the end of a blow pipe. In any case I truly believe that we did have great fun this week-end.
Because the fabulous Earth Day celebration at the College took place on Saturday, we had to change the glassblowing lab to Sunday. This shift changed the vibe in the studio and a lazy late starting Sunday feeling permeated the shop. Folks played the guitar in the corner as they waited patiently for their turn to try the first puntied off bubble. And as the day unfolded each person attacked the exercise with their own style.
Willy deserves a prize for being the "sacrificial first person" in line to blow it. But he came back strong with a great save on a bubble that took an adventurous tour of the cullet tray. Andy wowed the crowd with dexterity to burn , Kelly made a glass dough-nut for breakfast and picked up pizza for lunch. Emily and Linda came to class and fell ahead instead of behind.
Becky used precise heat to make two very good little cups, Jake a master of the wind blew the glass
with cool aplomb, and Steven "the natural" surprised no-one if not himself for being a creative person, and Jo (aside from blowing glass) found a whirly bug lying high and dry on the pavement in the parking lot, and my heart was once again warmed by the incredibly kind nature of this pack of HE's, as she gave him a long drink and in true nature lovin' style explained his swimming and diving techniques.My most favorite thing ever is to check the annealer the morning after blowing glass. Here are our very first baby bubbles from the introduction to glassblowing at the College of the Atlantic AD4391...wooohooo!