Where We Take a Field Trip To
The glass is in a crucible in the chamber and held at about 2000 degF. Finding the surface of the glass was harder than it seems…you just kind of feel for it, twist, raise the rod (punty) and roll it up, all at once.
Then you take the gather to a metal table (marvar) and try to roll the molten glass into an oblong, supposedly round form. Again a seemingly simple operation….NOT!
As simple a motion as rolling the punty takes practice. The urge is to grab it and turn…which doesn’t get you enough of a roll. Here Michele gets instruction from David Royce, Foci’s Studio manager and a 7 year glass blower doing some fantastic things himself.
After you get the gather in somewhat the proper shape, you touch the hot glass to ground colored glass, reheat it, pick up more. This is where the colored patterns are built in. There can be multiple layers of colors and clear and many ways of adding color, shape and bubbles.
Here’s Michele using a shears to grab the hot bullet of glass to twist it to move the color around. You can also use sticks to drag designs into the color.
Then you gather more clear over the surface and use a hot wet pad to start to shape the molten glass. Now it’s more like throwing pots…just a lot harder. With pots, when you stop applying pressure, the clay stops moving. With glass, it keeps on slumping so it always has to be in motion. As you shape the glass you start to build a groove in the end where the punty is. This will become the cut off point. To do this a large tweezer like tool is used. (I’m sure there’s a fancy name for it, but I missed that.
Here, Michael is showing Ann how to do the shaping. And then it’s Alysa’s turn. Cool sunglasses, Alysa!