5 Days Later—Still Blowing Glass & The Rains Came Pouring Down

   Posted by: BJ Johnson in sculpture

Weather held for longer than expected, so made the most of it. 4-6 hours each day hauling around 2,200° balls of molten glass, 5-8 pounds flopping around on the end of a 5 foot long, 1/2 inch diameter molybdenum and stainless steel rod takes a lot out of you. By the time I was done... I was done. Not much energy left to sit down and post an entry.

Usually, Joy and I alternate the Gaffer and Assistant positions and that gives one time to rest, drink to maintain fluids and grab a snack between operations that you are needed for. Yesterday, though, I worked alone. Sometimes, it's a catharsis when you're in the hot shop all by yourself. With some of the pieces being ornery and not having a breather, I only got two sets of four done before I had to quit with muscles complaining.

Rains came last night, along with temps in the 50s down to the 30s-40s at night, so we're standing down for a while. Looks like it'll be like this for at least a week. Gives me time to get the photography of all of these sculptures done, processed, uploaded and pages coded, so you can see 'em. If it stayed sunny and warm, I'd just keep making them. And staying inside allows me to further the design of the really cool chandelier that we're building for a noted patron. More on that will be coming along later. Back to the recent sessions...

Tried out some new designs and color combinations. Serendipity stuck its head in a couple of times and ruined pieces for me—Thankyouverymuch. Only thing to do is see what you can make from what you're left with. Now, I have new techniques to employ on purpose! One of them happened when the small paperweight I was shaping dropped just a bit too far on the way back to the bench from the furnace and stuck a corner of itself to the mass of glass I was shaping it from. DARN! Tried to separate the two and make repairs but it was useless. I was already a bit frustrated, so went to the marver (a large stainless table used to shape and cool the glass) and forcefully smashed the now misshapen sphere back into the mass to start over. When I reshaped it all and began pulling the paperweight out again, I was met with an internal structure of the color within the crystal that I had never seen previously. COOL! One of those "how'd he get that?" moments that a glass blower has when seeing another artist's creation for the first time.

The Wine Stopper designs keep coming. Made one that looks like a Viceroy's hat, another that is a wobbly stack of small spheres, and two that resemble small tap handles with a narrowing toward the base that then flares back out at the bottom. One that I was going for was an inverted narrow cone with an asymmetrical angled top. Let it get too long and thin and the design fell apart; didn't have the same nice feeling anymore. Tried to get it back but ended up shaping a tornado out of it instead. The angled top will have to wait. Wanted to get it in yesterday but ran out of steam.

I know, I know; enough descriptions—you want photos. Coming up. May do moving footage shorts of the stoppers. They're so beautiful and have so much going on inside, a still just doesn't do them justice.

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2 Responses to 5 Days Later—Still Blowing Glass & The Rains Came Pouring Down

  • tramodol

    There were always people who can write beautifully and you are among them

    December 18, 2009 at 8:32 am
  • Stacy Sims

    Hey very nice blog!!....I'm an instant fan, I have bookmarked you and I'll be checking back on a regular....See ya

    February 3, 2010 at 12:26 am
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