The Late Show

Aaron Jack at the Late ShowIt’s 5:45 p.m. at the Museum, and while for some the work day ends at 5, Aaron Jack and Dan Alexander are still at work on the Courtyard Stage.  There’s a well-known phrase that says “Go big, or go home,” and, for these two, staying later at the Museum means the chance to take more risks, create larger works in glass, and put on an entertaining show.

The Late Show, one of the Museum’s Hot Glass Shows, takes advantage of extended Museum hours. The last show of the day, it’s a little longer than the other shows, and as anyone who’s ever been would agree, it’s even more fun than other shows of the day.

“The Late Show is a show where we get to push ourselves more as glassmakers,” says Dan.  Aaron agrees, “It’s a risk, we can go bigger…”

Dan explains how color is added to the glass by bar for an even color throughout the piece.

The Hot Glass Show is an exciting performance in glassmaking, but it’s also a chance to learn about glass from the people who work with it every day.  Both gaffers agree that one of the great things about the longer Late Show is that they can share more with the audience about the properties of glass and about glass history.

Aaron recalled one show where he may have gone a little too big – the piece was too large to fit in the annealing oven.  When glass is not cooled slowly at an even temperature, it creates strain and the piece will break.  “We knew that it was going to break anyway,” he said.  And so he took advantage of the rare opportunity to show firsthand what happens to glass that does not go through the annealing process.  “We threw water on the hot glass onstage and it just shattered – the audience was shocked!”

Late Show glass winner

Emily from Scranton, PA, with sister Sara, was one of the night's winners.

The Late Show is an opportunity for the gaffers to be creative as artists, and the atmosphere lends to colorful and lively pieces.  “We get to talk and joke around more,” says Aaron.  Dan adds, “There’s more crowd involvement, the audience gets to know us better and can ask more questions.”

But the biggest draw to the Late Show is the possibility to win a glass piece.  Dan and Aaron like to have fun with the raffle, having the audience all stand up, sitting down only when the number called is not on their raffle ticket.  The lucky last person standing wins a piece of glass made during a previous Hot Glass Show.

Dan Alexander and Aaron Jack at the Late ShowCatch the Late Show every evening at 5:45 p.m. on the Courtyard Stage through September 6.  For more information on the Hot Glass Show, visit http://www.cmog.org/dynamic.aspx?id=144

See more photos from the Late Show with Aaron and Dan on Flickr http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvH9N28