Karin Blows Glass

So, we’re settling in here in Ballard this Fall.  Karin has her favorite coffee shop, and her favorite wine bar. I love walking everywhere and when I think about running an errand somewhere in Seattle or up to the house in Snohomish County I find myself saying, “Oh, come on. You don’t really want to deal with all that traffic do you?”  And, of course the answer is, “No.”   So I just walk to somewhere near by do get my errand done.  Think globally, walk locally.Karin Blows glass 001

Last Saturday night we took ad vantage of Ballard’s monthly Art Walk to toddle over to Art by Fire, a little gallery right across the street and up about half a block. They sell glass art by many NW artists, and they have a studio in the back.  For the Art Walk they were having “Glass Blowing” night.  You could sign up and they would help you blow your own piece…in this case a pumpkin.  They are very small, but very nice for future Halloweens and for Thanksgiving table decorations.

Karin decided…her time had come…and she signed up…and on the line of the release that said if her singed off her eyebrows it was her own damn fault. They told her it was hot.  Go ahead Karin, sign it…you don’t need to read it. (She was the only one who did. I think it’s all those contracts she’s handling for Sprint. Now when she has a legal document in her hand she feels compelled to read through it…and suggest improvements.)

So into the hot shop we went…Karin with her teacher James…and me with the camera to document all this. First, when they call it the “hot shop”, they ain’t kidding. It was very hot.  And they move really quick.  But Karin did it all

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So…why the dark glasses you ask?  Well, they have to look into the find the molten glass. And you betcha, it was more than a little hard for her to see in there.

Once she had the ball of hot glass on her rod, she had to pick the color of glass she wanted to add to it.  Then she rolled the ball in a tray of colored glass shavings.  Then it was back to the furnace for more heat…more blowing…and then some shaping of the pumpkin with iron tongs and wooden paddles.

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Finally, they attached the little stem and popped it into the cooling oven….which takes about three days to slowly bring the glass down to room temperature.   All in all, it was a lot of fun…and now we have a nice table decoration too.

Glass Pumpkin 002

More “Adventures in Ballard” later.

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