Saturday, September 7, 2013

Craft-O-Rama: Part 1

Alas, it has been a long time since any of us have blogged. 

The three of us PowellGirlz got together in Ohio a few weeks ago and had a wonderful time making all kinds of things including miniature food, punch-needle embroidery, knitted monsters, and glass vases — a veritable Craft-O-Rama!   

We agreed at the end of our visit that we would each blog about a different craft. Unfortunately, we have all gone back to work and school — suddenly time is slipping by without any blogging (and not too much creating) going on.  I (Abby) took on the glass-blowing blog; Hannah and Chris will write about more later.

As Chris mentioned in a previous post, she visited her son and daughter-in-law in California and got to watch them blowing glass.  She sent me a little video of the process as well as lots of photos. Hannah lamented that she really wanted to learn glass-blowing, but I didn't think that people her age would be allowed in a glass studio. A few weeks later we were planning our trip to visit her, and she just happened to find a coupon for a glass-blowing class at a glass studio in Cincinnati! She contacted them and found out that Hannah could take a class, so she signed us all up. We decided to try making vases.

We were given a demonstration by our instructor and it looked so hard that we let Chris go first...   

Chris starting to make her vase. The hot ovens are seen behind her. She is adding air while turning the molten glass.

We started by collecting glass from an extremely hot oven (the instructor did this part for us). Then we took the molten glass and rolled it to begin shaping, and added some air through the long metal tube (this was more difficult than we thought it would be).  

Soon it was time to add color by gently twirling the hot glass in what looked like little crumbles of colors. Chris chose reds (with black and white accents), I chose greens, and Hannah chose multi-colors.  

We continued the process of reheating, twirling the glass, and adding air until it was time to shape the bottoms and tops of the vases. We did this part at a special bench.

The bench was where we were closest to the glass, which was incredibly hot. We wore a thick leather glove and a protective sleeve for this part.

Finally, the vase was very carefully broken off the rod (thank you, instructor!) and then transferred to the "cooling" oven (900 F!) and slowly cooled over a period of 24 hours. When we last saw our vases they were still red hot, so we couldn't really see the colors as they would appear in the end. I can't post a photo of the final vases here because Hannah wanted to be surprised when we receive ours in the mail.  However, I have seen the photos Chris took after she picked them up a week later and they look fantastic —check back here later to see the final products!  

We were really sad to leave after having such a great time, but we will always remember our wonderful Craft-O-Rama! Thanks to Chris, the hostess with the most-est, who not only took us to a miniature show, showed us how to do punch needle embroidery, and took us on wonderful hikes, but also managed to find us a glass-blowing class!  

We can't wait for the next PowellGirlz extravaganza!