Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finger Lakes Mini-Vacation- Part 1

Glass furnace where liquid glass is held at 2200 degrees F (1200 degrees C).



The glory hole.



Yours truly blowing a glass Easter ornament.



My instructor adding a hanging loop prior to placing it in the annealing oven.



I spent five days last week in the Finger Lakes region of New York state...

...and boy, did I have a wonderful time!

My best friend and I made quite a few stops on our brief trip...

...and I'd like to share some of them with you.

We started in Corning, New York by making blown glass ornaments for Easter...

...and if you haven't ever seen this done, it's truly magical!

The glass is held at unimaginable temperatures...

...where it behaves like a rather viscous liquid.

My only contribution to the making of my ornament was in the blowing...

...and, in fact, I ruined the first one that I tried because, as they jokingly told me, "I'm too full of hot air!" Grin.

Glass at these temperatures would crack if it's cooled too quickly...

...so it's held overnight in an annealing oven...

...where the temperature is slowly reduced from 900 degrees F to room temperature.

While we were in Corning, we also visited The Corning Museum of Glass...

...where we saw lots of gorgeous modern art glass, antique examples of glass through the centuries, and even learned how glass is used in industrial
and scientific ways.

Next time: My pilgrimage to The Moosewood Restaurant!

14 comments:

Jasmine said...

So exciting. I'd love to make glass.

Kelly said...

Awesome!

Heather Woollove said...

Jasmine and Kelly--We were so lucky...after we finished our ornaments at the studio, we got to watch several retired professional glass blowers make a truly difficult piece together!
It was so cool!!!

WonderWhyGal said...

That is so cool that you got to at least blow the glass. We watched a demonstration a few years back in Indianapolis at the Children's Museum and it was amazing. Looking forward to more fun from your trip.

Deb at Merciful Hearts Farm said...

I do believe I am jealous! My father worked at Goodrich Research & they kept a full-time glass blower on staff to improvise specialty labware as needed. I recall he was always amazed at that gentleman's skill.

Heather Woollove said...

Andrea-If you ever plan a trip to Corning, you should visit the "Hands-On Glass Studio" where I made this ornament. They have great prices, allow children to blow, and adults can even make paperweights!
Deb--Ohhhhh...I just LOVE lab glass and beakers, etc!! (Can you tell that I started college as a Chemistry major?) :)

FeltersJourney said...

I love watching glass blowers! It really is an amazing thing to see - and lucky you getting to have a go! Wonderful! xx

narkeymarkey said...

oh lucky you! glass-making is on my wish-list of things i want to learn but never seem to find the time to! :)

Patty Biermans said...

I love glass! You are very lucky to have the experience of blowing glass. I wish that it was me, Hugzz...Peebee

vilterietje said...

well that must have been a once in a lofetime expirience, but then one you would like to do again. (i think i'm not very clear waaaaaaaaah?)

Heather Woollove said...

Thanks for the nice comments, ladies! It was fun to try a small glassmaking project in a perfectly safe environment. I'm rather glad, though, that I don't have to contend with regular burns or having my hair singed off while felting! :)

Janee Lookerse said...

Oh my gosh! I've always wanted to blow glass. You know at Disneyland how you can watch the glass workers make all the pretty pieces? I had to get one every time we went, which was often, and I just loved watching them make them. Also, Venice has some REALLY amazing glass craftsmen... I won't even try to describe it, I'd never do it justice.


xoxo
Janee
yellowbirdyellowbeard.blogspot.com

Sandie Knapp said...

I am so jealous, and yet also happy for you. I have always been fascinated with glass blowing, and there you are, blowing your own glass ornament. Amazing and wonderful at the same time. Good for you! :)

Heather Woollove said...

Janee--I'd love to visit Venice just to see the glass sometime! What I've seen in museums is amazing!
Sandie--You're not too far from Corning. I think you should plan a day trip and try it yourself!! :)