A Propane Tank, a Blow Torch and Me

One of the joys of getting older is that I find myself more willing to try new things and stretch my comfort zone. A propane tank, a blow torch and me? Sure, I can try.

I don't think I've tapped into an inner pyro, but I can't wait to do this again. Christopher and Jacquelyne Rice of CNY Glass Studio and Gallery made combining fire, propane and molten glass a safe, fun, and creative experience. Their class structure of 2 teachers to 4 students and their generous teaching style made for one of the best weekends I've had in a very, very long time. Not only do I plan on taking more classes from them, but since they rent studio space, I hope to be up there playing just for the fun of it.

We first started with simple clear glass. Before we started melting glass, I asked what temperature we'd be heating to. About 2000 degrees. So, I figure that's why I was being rather hesitant to use the flame to it's optimal application. Hence, the beads that retained the swirls of molten glass:
Once I settled into heating the molten glass as high as I could, I finally got the more traditional bead shape:
Then we played with using the flame as a fine works tool more than just an intense heat source:

Then we shifted to colored glass. I still want to know why clear glass will not encase green glass, but will meld to it in partial coverings. This set is just colored glass without the clear glass coat. Similar enough for earrings, I hope.
Then I made a tube bead... an inner core of colored glass with a clear coat over it. The colored glass in this one changes as the heat works on it, so you're never really sure of what you'll get until the bead is finished. Serendipity in creating is a great thing.
And these are the rest:

1 comment:

DeanB said...

We once watched Ellen O'Donnell, the woman who used to run Loving Little Rubber Stamps, doing lampworking in her studio in Newburyport MA.

When I was in first grade my dad was working as a chemist about 2 blocks from my elementary school. One lunch hour he took me over to visit his lab and the glassblower there let me blow a bubble at the end of a glass tube. I brought it back to show and tell and of course it broke before the end of the day but if I remember it this long after you can see that it made an impression!

I used to greatly enjoy arc welding when I was taking shop classes in high school -- it was a real rush having a little puddle of melted steel less than a foot from me.