Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 86: Hand Blown Glass

Day 86: Hand Blown Glass, originally uploaded by susanvg.

I love good craftmanship. Some years ago I went to Vancouver and a friend of mine took me to Robert Held's glass studio. It was a fascinating experience. In the area where the glass is blown, there were a couple of furnaces with fires blazing inside. Rock music blasted from speakers trying to drown out the roar of the fires. At each furnace a skilled glassblower carefully formed the shapes of the objects and meticulously added the layers of coloured glass. Turning and blowing, the object took shape. I was told that some young street people had been trained to be glass blowers. Working in this environment seemed to suit their temperament. They must have felt enormous satisfaction and pride turning out such beautiful objects.

The pieces in the gallery were magnificent and so were the prices. This bowl sat among the seconds - pieces with slight flaws that did not meet the exacting standards of a master glass blower. I love to look at the colours in the glass and marvel at its intricacy. Despite having seen the process, it still seems like magic to me that someone can control the placement of the colours with such precision. It is quite a gift to be an artist.


  1. That is beautiful! I've always marvelled at glass blowing. It looks incredible and as you say such an exacting craft. Maybe one day.

  2. Lovely bowl. I like the way the reflection shows in your picture. There are several glassblowing studios near me in the mountains. The pieces are exquisite and - yes - expensive!

  3. I, too, am drawn to glassblowing and anything to do with glass (stained glass, sculpture, and slumped - baked in kiln) - I'm truly amazed at its beauty and character. Yours is a pretty one - love the photo with the light shining through to show off the green!