The second lab day in the studio was a day spent building the foundation of basic skills related to blowing dangerous sticky hot molten glass. Keeping the long steel blow pipe turning while trying to pirouette across the studio and into the glass blowing bench, where one must pick up strange tools and deftly shape the 2000 degree dripping substance is .... well,... just plain exhilarating!!
Glass blowing is kind of exciting and challenging like a sport. However it's governance by more Venusian principles of beauty, makes it seem equally like a dance. Couple this with the opportunity to make split second creative decisions about shape and the experience as artist/artisan send the spirit soaring. The desire to pick up the blow pipe to try it again and again feels something like the addictive quality of a good video game. "Oh that was fun now let me try it again, try to make another shape, try another gentle wrangling of that bubbly membrane of light...!"
At this point in the process of teaching beginning glass blowing, I often remind the students that at this early stage, we are not making glass, we are making Glassblowers. That their will is secondary to the techniques we are practicing. Soon, very soon however this will change & the movements will become more confident. Once safety has been established, we can expect the arrival of the muse surfing in upon a flood of ideas and waves of glass!