My mother-in-law found a brochure for an art festival that included an opportunity to blow your own glass float. I love experiences like this so we were in!
The glass blowing happened at Shack Art Center in Everett. There is a small gallery space in the front of the building, but they offer a lot of classes. I’m looking forward to looking into more of them, but for now it’s glass blowing.
First, the gal who was helping us gathered some clear glass. I think she said that there’s about 300 lbs of molten glass in the furnace that holds it. Then, we learned how to turn the pipe in the second, “working” furnace. It was hot work!
Next, we added the color. We did this depending on the end pattern we were looking for; I was going for more of a “spotted” look, while the boys chose a “swirl” pattern.
(I love the concentrated look on Alex’s face here!)
The color went on in layers. A couple pats into the color (or rolls in my case) then into the furnace. A couple more pats (or rolls) then back into the furnace. Since the boys were going for a swirl pattern, they had an extra step – they had to actually make the swirls! Really cool to get to “play” with the glass like that.
After one last trip into the furnace to smooth things out, it was time to blow our glass blobs into glass balls. While we blew, the gal that helped us actually helped form a nice ball and worked to get it ready to separate from the pipe.
And with that, our glass floats were born! After they were blown up, she sealed up the hole at the bottom with more glass then they went into an oven so that they could slowly cool down. We had to wait two days to pick them up, but totally worth the wait. Here’s the fruit of our labor:
I’m so happy with how they turned out and I’m also really happy with how hands on the process was. This was a really fun experience and I think we may go back in September to try our hand at making some glass pumpkins. Seriously, you need to check this place out!
Now, to find a safe place to display them…