Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sunspots Studios -- Glassblowing

It’s spring and there is a light at the end
of our homeschooling tunnel! 
It feels like a good time for a little field trip. 
We had a day outing, and one of our stops
was watching the glassblowing at
Sunspots Studios in downtown Staunton, VA. 
(I could go to downtown Staunton and be happy
 just roaming the streets – it’s so beautiful!)

At the studio there’s a lovely shop full of hand blown glass.  
(Hold on tightly to your children’s hands!!)
In one corner of the shop is an unobtrusive door.
On the other side of this door is where the magic happens! 
People are free to sit on bleachers and watch the artists
create beautiful pieces from glowing globs of molten glass. 
It was fascinating!

One word of warning:  I’m more of a ceramic kind of girl
and not so much in love with fine glass. 
But… after watching these men at their craft,
I had a very strong desire to go back into the sales room and start buying! J 
It’s so lovely!

This is the white hot beginnings (comes out at around 2,400 °F)
being shaped with a wooden “ladle” soaked in water.

Heating the glass again.  
The hose over the artist's shoulder is attached to the pipe,
 and he blows into it
to create hollows in the soft glass.  

This mold will cause a swirl design in the finished product.

The end design this artist was working on looked sort of like these bowls.  
I didn’t get a photo as he whisked it away to a “cooling oven” 
where the glass cools very slowly overnight to avoid cracking.

There were bits and pieces of pretties scattered 
all around the workshop among the tools.

Back in the gallery there were collections 
of beautiful glass for sale.

"I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; 
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 89:1

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