Thursday, June 6, 2013

Glass Class

My parents decided to come up to Duluth the last couple of days to hang out and get some time with Scott and I in, which was a lot of fun despite the chilly temps.

We had one nice day of hiking in the Hartley Nature Center, just up the road from my alma mater UMD.  The temps were in the mid-50's, which of course meant that I was in T-shirt and cut offs, while my parents opted for long sleeves and fleeces.  Living in Florida has thinned their thick Minnesotan blood a little...

Despite the chilly temps, we got a couple miles of hiking in before the sky started to darken.  I had warned them about the ::ahem:: fickleness of Duluth weather, so they were expecting it.
I knew that it was going to be raining the next day, so I found something completely new and really cool for all of us to do together.  We headed down to Lake Superior Art Glass in Downtown Duluth, and we took an afternoon class called "Intro to Torchwork", where we learned how to manipulate glass!

It was just the three of us in the class, and it was a really new and fun experience!

(Dad is squishing the molten glass down into the shape of a pendant with a graphite tool)
We made three projects as we progressed through the skills, making a pendant with colors, a marble with colors, and an icicle that I plan on hanging in my bedroom as a sun catcher (if the sun decides to come out anytime soon).

(You can see my Mom's icicle forming on the left side of the flame)
This was a totally new experience, and we had a very patient teacher helping us through the entire process.  There were definitely a few stressful moments in the class- our teacher Dan had warned us that we had to keep heated-up glass warm so it wouldn't crack, but the heated-up glass would be pliable, especially when making an icicle, which was supposed to be straight- trying to keep everything in order was a little stressful at times.  It was a good thing Dan didn't mind a few expletives as I worked on my projects... oops...

(I'm mixing colors in this pic- you can see the colored glass on the left side of the flame, which I'm mixing with the larger clear glass rod on the right side of the flame.  This was for my marble project!)
We all loved it, and when we picked up our finished cooled pieces yesterday morning, we were all very excited to see how well they turned out!
My parents are back down in the cities now, and I'm in full-on end-of-year dance mode.  Final practice night is tonight, and tomorrow is a full day down at the theater for dress rehearsal run-through.  My next post  will be about the finished cowls that I gave to my senior Platinum tap girls last Monday (they loved them!), along with the finished product of the Pan Am bags I'm giving my middle-school aged stewardesses.  Besides finishing up dance thank-you gifts, I'm hoping that it stops raining long enough today for me to get a run in, since all I was able to do yesterday was maybe a half hour of climbing at most.
I love it when my parents visit, but it takes a few days out of my training schedule. :)


Angela said...

Such a cool idea! Such a creative thing to do with your parents.

Mark said...

Now whichever of us loses any of our marbles first will have 3 custom marbles to choose from, if anybody will part with theirs. I cherished the day (fantastic fun) and what we made. What a total surprise! Thanks so much!