Thanks to Brook White, Eric Niederstadt and apprentice John for hosting our IDSA chapter as well as the AIGA at Flame Run. Brook talked to us about blowing glass and answered many questions about the process before taking us out into the hot studio to see it in action. Brook and John worked together to gather glass from the melting furnace before carefully adding colors to it one layer at a time. While working the glass, it had to be constantly moved back and for the between the work area and the furnace to keep it hot enough. Once they had added all the colors they wanted, Brook and John began the process of blowing the glass to develop the shape. While continually spinning the glass, they carefully blew in air and used wooden tools and molds to shape the glass into a bowl-like shape. Once the shape was where they wanted it, they carefully stuck a second rod called a punt to the back side of the piece, making sure to get it lined up perfectly with the blow tube. Once that had been attached, they added a few drops of water and a quick hit with a tool to break the piece free form the blow tube and transfer it to the punt. Then, Brook placed the piece back into the oven to get it soft enough to be able to spin it out into a plate-shape, and expertly controlled the droop to get a wavy edge, before breaking the piece from the punt into John’s waiting arms so it could be quickly placed into the cool-down oven. To top it off, they did this all while explaining every step to our very interested group of designers! Once the hot glass work was done, Brook and Eric walked us through the gallery full of amazing work from several glass artists, including the current Hunger Games themed show. Finally, we wrapped up with a tour of the “cold” shop, where they cut, grind, and polish the finished glass pieces.
Aug 23 2017 - 11:52am