Blowing glass & inventing fantasy vessels

In an earlier post, I mentioned that Brooklyn's Urban Glass offers lower "experimental" rates in their hotshop...I signed up for a three-hour Sunday block and had a wonderful time with old friend/AMAZING glassblower Jon Wang, trying things out and attempting to aggravate some old, stiff muscle memory.

Urban shares the building with an arts center and a café, with a wonderful first-floor exhibition space....

Urban shares the building with an arts center and a café, with a wonderful first-floor exhibition space....

Today was, actually, my first personal blow time in about three years. I taught introductory glass in Texas, and earned a little gratis blowtime at another studio across town by volunteering some walk-in events, but never found (or made) time or the budget to book productive shop time for myself.

So, today, even though my stepped rondelle ended up looking more like a lumpy hat, and I constantly made clumsy mistakes (like slamming my piece into the gloryhole door), it felt so AWESOME to have this time for myself (plus a couple of breaks for Jon so he could switch from assisting me to practicing goblet-making)....

Here is the final count of finished pieces percolating in the annealer, a collection of milky/cummy-hued vessels and flats.

I love planning out elaborate pieces on gridded paper, some beyond my current skill level, some dead simple blanks for later kilnwork, and some simply nonsensical tableaux of glass vessels and invented equipment. Click to enlarge.

P.S., today is Father's is one of my favorite pictures of the pops, looking through a glass. He hates it, but I think it's wonderful, so...sorry, dad!

Penland prep

Leaving in a little over a week.

Got the FJ A/C refilled with freon at a great Hasidic-run shop in my childhood neighborhood, off Ditmas Ave. The mechanics do this nifty thing where they pump in UV reactive dye alongside the gas, that allows them to pinpoint the source of any refrigerant leaks in the future using "extra special goggles," as the tech explained to me.

Fingers crossed, I'll be riding cool through the Virginias, a bit of Tennessee?, then finally North Carolina.

The workshop is about ring design and fabrication. I have virtually no experience drafting designs for jewelry, so here is my self-assigned homework from studio today. Over time, I will learn what I want to build and how to show it, but for now these 16 clumsy little doodles.

(Sakura Gelly Rolls are a guilty pleasure of mine and have been since I was 12. Their GLORIOUS range of colors is texturally diverse as well (sheer glaze, dimensional matte puff, silver and gold sheen, metallics, neons, glitter). They are my favorite way to accent designs for jewelry and apparel as each dot of ink has a dimensional, jewel-like quality to it. Gelly pens are NOT just for pre-teen girls....)

Throwback to Jin-Won's class + intro to Cinema 4D

Going through some old hard drives and found these three models that took me hours to build in Cinema 4D, years ago, in Jin-Won Han's glass flameworking class. She had this fabulous way of working where she envisioned her Pyrex artwork in a 3D modeling program, leading to a strange meeting of the stoically accurate and the organically unpredictable––and I would say both descriptors apply to both media, digital and glass.

This "ego box" design eventually became the following, one of the first things I ever made with flameworking:

You can see the devitrification (loss of gloss, milky clouding) from poor heating techniques, but I loved every minute of the challenge. All of these "flat" pieces of glass were made from commercial Pyrex tubes heated and sliced open, then melted together in bits and pieces.