Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Almost Dreamy Crafting of Glass

My dream craft would have to be glass blowing. I have always been interested in how glass was made, even as a child. When I asked my parents how glass was made, they told me that people melted materials like sand in a very hot fire and then blew the glass into shape through a hollow rod that resembled a huge metal straw. I thought that this was really cool, but that was all the experience that I could get as a child growing up in a small rural town. Recently, my family took a huge family vacation and drove all the way up to Niagara Falls, then down to New York City and Philadelphia and back to Arkansas. We made a lot of stops along the way, including some spur-of-the-moment stops. After we were driving away from the wonderful Niagara Falls, my dad suggested we stop at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. He said it was a very interesting and awe-inspiring place that would be worthwhile to see. We all agreed, so we drove off to the museum. When we got there, we discovered that they actually had live shows and demonstrations of their special glass blowing techniques. We bought tickets to one of the shows and watched in amazement as the man wielding the long metal stick with its glowing orb of glass slowly, but surely molded, reheated, molded, reheated, added color, molded, reheated, and molded the superheated glass over and over again in order to create a wonderfully artistic and multicolored vase! From that moment on I wished that I could learn how to blow glass. After the demonstration, we wandered around the unbelievably complex and beautiful glass museum where there were hundreds upon hundreds of glass sculptures on display. When we left the displays, we found a place where Corning was selling a lot of different art sculptures.

We bought glass flowers that were expertly crafted and delicate looking. We went to one of the visitors desks to see if there was anything that we had missed, and there was something we missed. Corning offers paid lessons on how to blow glass! I couldn’t believe that we had missed that even though it was fairly pricey. Unfortunately it was close to closing time at the museum and there were no more lessons being offered that day. I was so disappointed that we did not have the time to learn the basic techniques of glass blowing. Ever since that day, I have been determined to go back to Corning Museum of Glass and learn my dream skill of glass blowing.

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