Waking Sleeping Sign Repose Wish
The gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam...

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looking for some hot glass baby this evening...
2002-10-16 - 5:08 p.m.

This morning I was awoken at 4:45am by the pager going off. sigh. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I do get compensated for being on-call... It was a problem I couldn't fix. It was a real problem for our German folks, and it was daytime for them. I paged the developer on call three times and called their house. No answer. So I called the Level 1 guy back and let them know that there is nothing I can do and I'd let him know as soon as I do find out something. Luckily, once I was in the office with the rest of the staff (obviously without those who were home sick) the problem was fixed by noon. whoohoo. I even got an apology for being woken up. Doesn't make it any easier to not want to nap right now... Wayne was our saviour, he figured out the problem in a heartbeat and started the hunt to track down the folks to fix it.

My monday was exciting at work too. I didn't want to ruin my Crusades post with tales of coming into work on Monday and neither of my computers powering up. Seems that we had a power outtage/surge over the weekend. Some folks just had to replace their power strips that had been fried. The rest of the PC's had to be opened up and the power supplies replaced before they were operational. I felt kinda dumb standing around useless, so I took the on-call laptop into an empty cube, stole a network connection and worked on laptop in unfamiliar chair for the first half of the day. Luckily I was back on my own lovely computer with my own lovely chair by 1pm. But it was one hell of a way to start the day/week.

Yesterday was my second class in glassblowing. First of all we got our little snowmen shaped blobs of glass back to sign and keep from our first class. Isn't it cute:

Yeah, don't you dare laugh. So mine is a little misshapen, lists slightly, and has a few bubbles in it. (bubbles... how appropo) I think that was from accidentally folding it over when it got to loosey goosey. But it is still my first piece, and would make a nice projectile if forced into it. This week, well, I didn't burn myself and that is a good start. I also made a little clear glass vase. I think they were intended to be tall and thin and elegant. Mine is short and fat, slightly lopsided, but a vase nonetheless. It is currently in the annealing oven, I get to take it home next week. yippee!

I've decided I should wear overalls to each glass session. First of all it is another protective layer between me and the heat. I'm not so good with the heat. A bad thing in an aspiring glassworker, eh? Perhaps I should invest in a white (to reflect the heat) leather apron. hmm... Let's just say that this session my front got a bit too hot for comfort from standing in front of the glory hole reheating my piece. Note: the glory hole is the hot hole to reheat your glass as you are working on it instead of the furnace that keeps the glass molten to work on.

One of the truly groovy things was getting to watch a real pro at work. This guy happened to be working in the studio as our class was going on. He's studied with Corning, works in the Italian style, and a nice guy to boot. Showed me a trick to the initial bubble for the glass blowing. And his works were amazing. He was working on art glass, gracefully dripped through a wire mesh to land on a steel plate to form a useless but decorative piece. He also made a tall vase of black and gold glass that he punched two holes in the lip of the vessel so that it could be hung as well as stood up. Really cool stuff.

But let me tell you, this glass blowing thing is a lot more work that I had imagined. First of all there is the constant exposure to the heat. Whew. Need two bottles of water for next class. Then there is the constant turning. The temptation to stop turning and look at the piece is often overwhelming, but then it will be ruined and droop. bad. Also, the blowing part is harder too. You really need to have it hot enough to expand easily, but with a cold enough skin so that the bubble doesn't burst through. And constantly turning while blowing so the bubble doesn't droop. Many things to keep in mind. That and I'm still a little shy of the heat on the blowing/pontil rods from the first class. eh. But to make our vase bottoms we got to use centrifugal force, swinging the hot glass bubble like a pendulum to make an elonganted pyramidal bubble to then work with. Next class we make a bowl... No color until the final class.

Tonight I hope to go be semi-productive in the sewing room. But the lure of West Wing vs. Birds of Prey will be strong...

And thank you to all of you who have issued your congratulations. It really does mean a lot to me. And eventually I'll come to grips with it all. So, would you want to see pictures of the things like the medallion and belt and cloak, or will you be content to see it up close at Crown?

Take care children. keep your heads down and your spirits up.

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