Snoop: Seattle

Glassblowing in Seattle, Washington was so cool! We got to make a bowl, a plate, a paperweight, a  marble and an ornament. I always wondered how all the colors got in glass. The color comes in separate pieces, like cool sand in various colors and sometimes mixes. You could blow big bubbles that sometimes pop. And, you can make little bubbles that stay inside the glass when it gets cooled.

Here is how you blow glass. First, there is a big, hot oven from Italy that has a bowl of molten, clear glass in there. It is called a crucible.  Me and mom started gathering from the furnace and you’re supposed to get 2 inches on the end of the stainless steel rod to start. Mom did 7 inches but I did 2 inches.

The big trick is that you have to keep twirling the rod that the glass is on, or else your creation looks like an uneven blob. Then, you bring it to your station. There are jacks, tweezers and scissors to cut and mold.  You are still turning it. You can add color to it then. You have to gently tap the glass in these trays of color and it is hard to tell how much color there is. You can only use the tools while the glass is 1200 degrees and it cools really fast, so you have to keep on “flashing” it. When you flash it, that means you put it back in the Glory Hole until it is glowing orange and wobbly.

You might even end up gathering more and more and more glass from the first bowl to make bigger and bigger pieces.

You can also write on your glass creation with skinny, colored glass sticks, it was so awesome. The key to write on a piece of hot glass is to get the glass stick red with heat to melt some of it on what you are making.  I got to use a blowtorch to get the blue smiley face (Cornelius) onto my orange ornament. It was so fun!!!!!

Also, after you blow the glass in to a bubble, and reheat the top, instead of blowing your glass, you can suck in the glass to form a bowl. And when you make a plate, you spin it open and the edges spread out to make it a plate. You can even do a different color on the edges.

You can also blow bubbles into molds to shape the plate Dale Chihuly style with wavy edges.  I also got a mini seaform from our teacher, Min Hi, and loved it.

After class, we were so hungry. We ate at the Thai restaurant next door to the glassblowing studio. They have a window so you can watch the professional glassblowers do their work. We watched this one man make a huge bowl. When he went to put it in the oven where it has to set overnight, he changed into this silver suit with a big hood in two seconds flat. He carried the big bowl to the oven, shut the door, got out of the suit and was back to work in about 15 seconds.

In California we got to see my cousin who is going into college and I got to see my dad’s sister, and my aunt. We stayed at my grandma’s house. We went to a place called Royal Thai with the best Thai food ever!!! I wish I could eat there every day. There is also a place in Novato called Arun Thai that had fantastic tofu curry. Mom got something with pumpkin in it and it was heavenly. Thai food is one of my most favorite kinds of food.

I loved our trips this summer, from England and Scotland to Alaska and Washington and California, that’s almost half the world, but the best summer yet!

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