My fascination with the art of glassblowing started many years ago when I first watched artisans in Murano, Italy. My naïve eyes had never seen anything like it, and I was mesmerized by so many things – not the least of which being their ability to manipulate glass. While my young self may not have been privy to the art, apparently it started as early as 50 BC by the Phoenicians.
Through the years I have always dreamed of taking a glassblowing class and so many times I was close only to be blocked by some random act. Finally while in the Orlando area the stars aligned for me and molten glass. I took my first glassblowing class!!
Years of wanting something can build great expectations which of course are always difficult to meet. My experience started with a simple Google search – I found a place – I emailed them – they emailed me back – it’s on. Hmmmm…then I started to think to myself – I am going to some strange guy’s house that I met on the internet to play with molten materials in an unfamiliar state – alone – where I have no one to call to come save me if needed. I think the thing that threw me off was the comment the owner made in his email – Since we are out of the city limits, and in unincorporated Orange County you may not be able to accurately locate us by a GPS. Internet directions are often inaccurate. Huh – where the hell am I going? No GPS? The drive there did not make me feel any better as I ended up driving around orange groves looking for the cross streets – plus let’s be honest I think I have been watching far too many crime dramas on Netflix (damn them and their easy access entertainment!). I eventually arrived and slowly pulled into a driveway artistically adorned with beautiful glass and metal art pieces. A sigh of relief – It’s actually a glassblowing studio! I was greeted by the absolutely lovely glassblowing couple Peter and Carolyn. They truly are fantastic and kind people – thankfully! 🙂
Now – did this class meet my expectations? I unquestionably loved the class and without a doubt the experience met my very high expectations. Glassblowing is surprising, mysterious, orange (not kidding – hot glass is ALL ORANGE!!) and awesome is every sense of the word.
During our class each student created a paperweight and an ornament (photos below). Of course after spending the day in the studio, I only wanted to make more. Unfortunately due to the upcoming summer weather, it was their last class of the season; however they invited me over as a guest for their last studio day to play with glass. I asked if I could make a belt buckle. Peter was hesitant at first to help me create this new piece – but eventually the experiment began. Not only was it crazy fun to create but there was excitement, lots of teamwork, fire, hells-ya-moments AND it was a success!! (photos below) Thanks Peter!! I love my belt buckle!!
If given the opportunity to take a glassblowing class – TAKE IT!! Better yet, go find a class and have fun!! If you are near Orlando, go here; they are great!!