Crafting is fun!

Not so long ago I was trying my hand at every activity I could think to try in the Bay Area.

Kayak with whales?

Did it and didn’t puke in high seas.

Race stock cars?

Did it and got the picture to prove it.

Pole dancing?

Tried my hand at it but discovered I was a better lap dancer.

Though I enjoyed most all of the activities – except for cave crawling – two activities stand out amongst the others:

Glass blowing and ceramics.

First I tried glass blowing.

I loved it so much I went back a second time and did the exact same thing I’d done before.

I made a beautiful bowl.

I have two GORGEOUS glass bowls for fruit or candy that I gifted to my mother.

I’m still floored that I was able to make them (the second time I was with my friend Kimberly and she made a bowl too)!

My ceramics class was also wonderful.

I made a dish and a bowl, which I glazed and fired and took home to my mother, not because they were something only a mother could love, buy because I wanted to share the beauty of them with her.

The only downside to my ceramics class was that it took place in a shady neighborhood in the Emeryville.

I’ve decided that for 2020, provided I survive this pandemic, I’m going to take up ceramics and actually pay to join the local ceramic shop – Higher Fire.

And I’m going to go back to the glass studio and make more glass objects to gift to my friends and family.

Nothing says I love you like a handmade gift, yes?

My grade school art teacher would be very proud, I think to know that I can’t throw clay without remembering the big nose mug I made in his art class in junior high.

I still have that mug (I use it as a pencil holder in the kitchen), it was made so well.

I think this is more of my homesteading urge coming to light, but I’m just going to go with it.

Crafting is fun!

Birthday time

The new guy’s birthday is TODAY and I’ve been scouring my brain for birthday present ideas and I think I’ve come up with something really good.

First of all, I was told that the new guy prefers EXPERIENCES over THINGS so instead of buying him some random accessory for his new camping trailer, I opted to get him a glass blowing experience for two.

That way he can go and bring a guest to enjoy in the fun.

Yes, he can bring me but I’ve done it twice already so if he wants to take his son or someone else, that’s cool with me.

In order to give him this gift I need something to wrap up for him and I opted to get him a big glass beer mug engraved with his nickname.

Finally, while perusing his Instagram I discovered that the new guy is a huge fan of donuts, so I’m getting him a dozen donuts from Voodoo Donuts.

That should be sufficient to tell the new guy that I like him without being too over-the-top, which let’s face it, I really can be from time to time.

Glass blowing and glory holes

No kidding.

They call the ovens they use to reheat the glass a GLORY HOLE.

I shit you not.

So I took ANOTHER glass blowing class (you can see pics from my first glass blowing class here and a picture of the finished product here) with my friend Kimberly.

As with the first time I took the class, I had a great time.

It was fucking hot, though.

But not as hot as last time because instead of being in a closed building, were were in a shop with garage doors that opened to the outside air and it was nice and cool outside.

My instructor walked me through all the steps, basically holding my hand in the right position so that everything turned out okay.

Here are some photos from my glass blowing experience:

And the finished product. . .

Hot, hot, hot!

The thing about glass blowing is that it’s REALLY hot.  Of course, all of us know this going into it but when you’re actually there, experiencing the heat, it’s like nothing you’ve felt before…. kinda like how you imagine walking on the sun would feel.

IMG_3827

The next think you need to know about glass blowing is that it’s very sweaty.  Rivers of sweat were running down my face and back.  I was a hot mess.  LITERALLY.

So I arrived at my glass glowing class to discover Ryan, my huge, hairy, hunky teacher there.  Boy did I have fun learning from him.  He demonstrated the process one time and then took each of the students one by one and helped us make a bowl.

IMG_3828
 The process is a little like this:
  • Blow a glass bubble through a wand
  • Add color
  • Blow a bigger glass bubble
  • Add even more color
  • Blow an even bigger glass bubble
  • Pinch the neck of the bubble
  • Add a base to the bubble
  • Flatten the base
  • Transfer the bubble/base to another wand
  • Heat the bubble
  • Open up the bubble to make a bowl
  • Heat the bowl
  • Swing it around to make swirly edges
  • Knock the wand off it, heat the base and stamp it
  • Let it cool
That was basically the process which took about 15 minutes to complete.
And here are the photos from my glass blowing experience.  Hope you enjoy!
IMG_3841 IMG_3847
IMG_3850 IMG_3855
IMG_3860 IMG_3861
IMG_3865 IMG_3869
IMG_3873

Final Result: Glass blowing class

As you may know, I took a glass blowing class about a month ago and lost about 20 pounds in water weight when I sweat the Dead Sea out of my body while standing near the GLORY HOLE.

Yes, it’s really called a GLORY HOLE, and is written in all caps like that.

I’m pretty sure that on the other side of the GLORY HOLE is hell.

Or heaven, depending on your GLORY HOLE.

But enough about GLORY HOLES.  Here is my finished red bowl.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Aren’t I wildly talented?

 

Hot, hot, hot!

The thing about glass blowing is that it’s REALLY hot.  Of course, all of us know this going into it but when you’re actually there, experiencing the heat, it’s like nothing you’ve felt before…. kinda like how you imagine walking on the sun would feel.

IMG_3827

The next think you need to know about glass blowing is that it’s very sweaty.  Rivers of sweat were running down my face and back.  I was a hot mess.  LITERALLY.

So I arrived at my glass glowing class to discover Ryan, my huge, hairy, hunky teacher there.  Boy did I have fun learning from him.  He demonstrated the process one time and then took each of the students one by one and helped us make a bowl.

IMG_3828
 The process is a little like this:
  • Blow a glass bubble through a wand.
  • Add color.
  • Blow a bigger glass bubble.
  • Add even more color.
  • Blow an even bigger glass bubble.
  • Pinch the neck of the bubble.
  • Add a base to the bubble.
  • Flatten the base.
  • Transfer the bubble/base to another wand.
  • Heat the bubble.
  • Open up the bubble to make a bowl.
  • Heat the bowl.
  • Swing it around to make swirly edges.
  • Knock the wand off it, heat the base and stamp it.
  • Let it cool.
That was basically the process which took about 15 minutes to complete.
And here are the photos from my glass blowing experience.  Hope you enjoy!
IMG_3841 IMG_3847
IMG_3850 IMG_3855
IMG_3860 IMG_3861
IMG_3865 IMG_3869
IMG_3873

 

Titillation

Glass melts at 2600 – 2900 degrees F, depending on composition.

And I will be handling molten glass this weekend at the Bay Area Glass Institute in San Jose.

Apparently, I get to make, and take home, a glass bowl.

I’m hoping we get to use glass molds instead of glass blowing (though my blowing skills are phenomenal).

It sounds really fun and I’m totally excited to try it. I hope I have a hunky teacher. A John Corbett type would be nice. He can distract me while I create art with my own two hands (or lips).

Nothing like a hot and sweaty man to make me hot and sweaty too.

In all the good ways.

Hell, I’d even be happy with a sexy classmate. I’m just looking for a little titillation here.

Just a skosh.

New Adventures Coming…

I signed up for a few new adventures which I’m sure you will all be pleased to know have nothing to do with orgasm, sex, or nudity.

They’re actually quite arts and crafty.

First, I signed up for a pottery class at Play with clay in November. In a 3 hour class with a master ceramicist, I will learn to spin and make a pot at their studio in Emeryville. Yes, I know Emeryville is a bit of a drive a way but what else am I going to do on my weekends? OM? Don’t answer that 🙂

The second class I signed up for I’m really excited about. I signed up for a glass blowing class in San Jose at Bay Area Glass Institute. I can’t wait to see hoe glass is formed into art and to make my own glass bowl. It sounds really exciting and I’m really looking forward to making my own piece to take home. If nothing else, I’ll gain and appreciation for all the effort the goes into making hand blown glass.

So there you have it. Two arts and crafty classes I am taking which have nothing to do with any of the other classes I’ve taken recently. I can’t wait to let my creative side run wild and make my own art pieces. It’s been a while since I worked on a quilt but I confess, I’m rather excited to work on a 3-dimensional project.

Wish me luck!