Today’s post comes from Chris Rochelle, Hot Glass Projects/Cruise Ship Team Leader, who recently revisited his alma mater, Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, to lead a glassblowing workshop.
Stepping back into the shop where I took my very first gather of molten glass on a pipe more than 15 years ago definitely had its nostalgic impact. Some of the equipment had changed, but the set-up to the glass studio at Hartwick was just as I remembered. On the morning of my demo, I started by getting the tools and color prepped for a fun day of glassblowing with the students. Once everything was hot and ready, and introductions were made, we got right down to it. Starting off with a practice goblet to get people’s hands moving, we went through the motions of Venetian style cup-making. It was great to engage the class and have them step in to deliver hot bits and bubbles to create stemware of different types.
After completing a couple goblets, we paused for lunch and then geared up to make a larger compote piece that required a more complicated assembly, using pick up ovens and multiple sets of hands. We made two small Venetian style dolphins and stashed them in a small oven for later. We then built a foot assembly that we attached the two dolphins onto… and then put that whole form back in the same pick up oven. On to the fun stuff—blowing a large bubble for a bowl top. Then transferred to a final punty. Picked up the foot and dolphin assembly and finally attached the bowl top with little bits of molten glass. A couple quick flash heats to make sure everything was set properly in place, and a small tap on the last remaining punty, brought the finished compote off in to the kevlar gloves and into the annealer where it cools overnight.
I got to hand it to the class out here! I brought a very difficult piece to the drawing board and they stepped right up to the challenge, took it seriously and meshed as a team to execute all the steps with success. And most of all, we all had fun. I’m looking forward to working with them again.
Learn more about the glassblowing program at Hartwick College www.hartwick.edu and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hartwick-Glassblowing/117151054976187