Monday, August 10, 2009

Busy Weekend - a Learning Weekend!

This past weekend I had the pleasure - and pain - of taking a glass coldworking class with Johnathon Schmuck. Coldworking, as Johnathon describes it, is "... the manipulation and alteration of glass without the addition of heat -- the changing of form and surface via some sort of mechanical or hand-manipulated method.". Here's Johnathon doing me a favor - showing me how to remove some glass from the top of a broken vase on the radius wheel. Tomorrow I'll tell you the story of the broken vase.

Class was from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. About the only time I sat was during the short period of time when I ate my lunch. I spent both days grinding and sanding and sand blasting and polishing. And it was HOT in the shop - wouldn't you know it that the days I took my first class at BAGI it was in the high 90's, and that was outside! At the end of Saturday's class I was so beat that while I was out having dinner with family I felt myself nodding off a few times at the table. And I don't think my legs have ached that badly since the first time I went water skiing. On Sunday we went back to do it all again. Needless to say, Sunday night I was toast! Despite the pain produced by using muscles I had forgotten about and by standing on concrete for 7 1/2 hours each day, I really really enjoyed myself. And Johnathon rocks! He's very knowledgeable, very talented, and very mellow.

Here are more pix I took of Johnathon showing us how to perform various tasks.

Flattening the bottom of a drinking glass on the flat lap wheel

Doing some hand-lapping on the glass bottom with silicon carbide

Giving the dome in the glass bottom a final cerium oxide polish on the lathe

I'm going to have to make some glass objects specifically for coldworking so that I can practice what I learned before I forget it!

Oddly enough, after I got home from dinner on Sunday night the Ibuprofen kicked in and my legs started to uncramp. So I sat myself down in front of some mindless TV and continued to embellish my felted wall hanging. I've added lots of texture to the tree branches along with some "auxilliary" branches using the needle felting technique. I think it's starting to shape up quite nicely. All that's left is to add a few strategically-placed beads here and there. Gotta make 'em first, though...

Here's a lengthwise view of a portion of the wall hanging. When it's finished, you'll get to see it in its entirety.

Now it's time for my evening tea, and then to bed. Tomorrow will be filled with glass... or fiber... or maybe a bit of each! Have yourselves a happy and creative day!


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

So all you did was watch in the cold working class? didn't you actually DO any cold work yourselves????
Hmph! ;-)

Shirley Cook - Jumping Jack Glass said...

Amy, just under the first picture it says "I spent both days grinding and sanding and sand blasting and polishing.". So to answer your question... YES, I did!

rosebud101 said...

It sounds like you were busy! Glad you enjoyed your class!

Shirley Cook - Jumping Jack Glass said...

Mallory, I did enjoy it. But it was just the very tip of the tip of the iceberg. My friend Amy has been living in Murano and working as an apprentice to a master engraver for close to 4 years now and she's still learning. (But she's REALLY REALLY good!)

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