Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stafford Art Glass Class

My New Year's resolution this year is simple: try 5 new things.  My first new thing to learn is glassblowing.   Actually, I didn't know that was the first thing until I saw on Facebook that  Stafford Art Glass right here in Giles County was having classes this weekend. 

I signed up for a half hour class to make a "suncatcher" ornament.  I arrived early so I watched the student before me.  This helped as I could see exactly what I was supposed to do. 

 First, I got a big blob of molten glass and kept turning it in the furnace.

 I went over to the table of colored glass and picked up mostly blue glass but some other colors for interest.  I did this twice.

 Then, back to the furnace again with some more twirling.

 This part was too difficult for a beginner. The instructor twirled the pipe while using the tool to  shape the blob into a more rounded mass.  I went back to the furnace to heat up the mass, then shaping again.  Finally he used another tool to narrow the top (a lot like making the top of a narrow-necked vase on a potter's wheel).  Then I blew thru a hose to make the perfectly round ornament.

The instructor snapped off the top part to make a hole and then put a taffy-like molten glass on the top and bent it over to make a lip so you can hang it.  This is another skill a beginner couldn't easily do.  The suncatcher was put in a 150 degree oven overnight to anneal which relieves the stresses in the glass.

I picked up my suncatcher this morning and installed on my front porch. 

Glassblowing is a very cool thing to do for my list of new things to try this year.  I am not sure what I will do next. 


  1. And beautiful! I am so impressed.

  2. Amazing! And the sun catcher is amazingly beautiful, too. I like that you used mostly blue. Very nice. Very nice, indeed.

  3. An interesting post. Good luck with your new endeavour!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  4. thanks everyone for your comments. I made another one last weekend and will post soon.