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and then there were bowls...
2002-10-30 - 4:51 p.m.

Kyna would be so jealous. I got to play with blue last night. Blue glass that is.

Traditionally, and in period, different chemicals (cobalt, magnesium, copper, etc.) would have been added to a batch of glass materials to make colored glass. Since we don't have different furnaces and huge amounts of chemicals laying about, the way the modern glass worker makes colors is to add colored glass to molten clear glass. The fritt, or colored glass to be added, comes in sizes from powdered form, to small chunks, to larger chunks. The idea is that you take your blob of clear glass from the furnace and roll it in the powder, or chunks, to get the colored glass on the clear blob. Then you stick it in the glory hole to reheat and melt all the color into the clear. Easy, right? Except that with color you can't see your bubble forming, all you can see is the blob of colored glass get bigger. (Yes, I'm using all the technical terms. Actually the blob the bubble is blown into is called perison, the colored chunks are fritt, the glass left on the end of the iron is the moile, etc.)

So, anyway, using blue, we made more pretty glass. And while most of my pieces have been slightly lopsided, my final blue vase was lovely and almost symmetrical. Can I get a w00t!? First I made another bowl (having more uses for bowls in my life than vases) that was blue, with a straight flared lip as oppossed to the turned out flat lip. It's still a little lopsided, but pretty nonetheless. And then I came to one of my problems. First, gentlemen, get you giggles out now, I'm taking a glassblowing class... there will be talk of blowing. So, for the initial bubble you put in the blob of glass you make a quick hard blurst of air and cap it off with your index finger. I had been failing in this department. I could get it after a few tries, but then the glass cools down and is resistant to accepting the bubble. My second bowl overall I got it to work on my own, and I did too withmy colored bowl, but with a few tries. Then when my partner was working on his piece, I was set back to playing with the balloon on the end of the blowing iron to practice. how humiliating... But it helped! actually, too much. The second piece I tried after practice, I blew it too hard too fast and made the bubble big too soon. While this was good that I could do a decent bubble at the start, this particular piece was scrap since it wouldn't have the stability to be able to gather more molten glass over it. But my third try of the evening, my 6th attempt at blowing overall, and it was near perfect. My teacher was so happy. Even this old dog can learn, if slowly. At least I was better with the shaping jacks than my partner...smug face...yeah yeah yeah, not a competition...

So, anytime now I can go pick up my final two pieces in blue! Of course there is the problem of finding the time. I (pout) probably won't be able to go pick them up until next week sometime. Too busy to retrieve blue. But I was so wired at finally getting it last night I was singing at the top of my lungs all the way home, I came home and was all bubbly and talkative to Alan as he was trying to calmly read before bedtime. So then, to calm down or something, I took pictures of my bowls from last week, and sewed the tabs for Bobby's banner, which I had painted the spots on on monday night. ow, my back and neck, spots...

So, here, the moment you have been waiting for, at least those people who dutifully read through and didn't skip ahead to the pictures, pictures!:

My first bowl, a little lopsided.

second bowl, lovely fluted edge, small tumor on the left side from bumping the glory hole... eh.

Both bowls together for relative thickness and sizes.
As always, click on images to larger versions

Tonight is shaping up to be grocery shopping, and stuff. Maybe I'll get a little more time in my sewing room. Wouldn't that be lovely?

So, now the true delima comes up. What to wear for Halloween? I love Halloween, (Sorry HoneyPot!) and I like to dress up, and usually we have a relatively fun work lunch party, and to top it off, the bar we sometimes go to on Thursday Nights is having a costume contest. So I feel compelled to dress up. Now, for starters, I think dressing in purely garb as a medieval/rennaissance person is cheating in my book. But I do like to build on historic stuff. Here's what I've done in the past: last minute black widow spider (made legs and an hourglass to pin to belly to be worn over black jeans and tshirt.), Cinderella from Ever After (complete with only one wing and one shoe), the a member of a harem (in addition to dressing my female coworkers as part of the harem), and last year I wore kitty cat ears (lame, I know). So, what should it be this year? We were thinking of doing a group costume of everyone in our little team dressing as members of the Sopranos. Funny, but the idea frizzled up and died after only one day of excited discussion. sigh... so, I'm left in a lurch...

something to ponder...

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