Making light of glass

>>, studio practice>Making light of glass

Gosh, I love that headline–I could take that one just about anywhere, talking about the properties of light and how they relate to glass, chiding people who take the whole glass thing so seriously, cracking jokes about glass…

But the only joke I’m cracking right now is “what do you get when you melt 65 pounds of glass into 40 pounds of investment in a bathtub kiln?”

A backache.

There are days, particularly when I’m casting, when I wonder why I couldn’t fall in love with balsa wood? I can lift a balsa wood cube 3 feet on a side with one hand.

Ever try to lift a solid block of glass that size? I might as well be casting with lead.

A very prominent glass sculptor once told me she’s noticed that as she gets older her glass sculptures are getting smaller and smaller. “By the time I’m 65 I’ll be down to making pendants,” she snorted.

She said this right after I mentioned that a mold I was using was so heavy I could barely get it into the kiln without assistance. “Have you thought,” she said kindly, “about what happens when you fill it up with glass? How are you going to get it OUT of the kiln?”

Uh….

Actually, I got the 65-pounder out without too much trouble…just removed the investment in the kiln and staggered a bit on the way to the counter.

And I’m seriously thinking that I haven’t yet plumbed the depths of small-but-lovely. I do well with giving myself assignments bounded by strict parameters. For the sake of my back I may limit my castings to 9×9 blocks until I can get one of those engine block lifter-crane thingees.

2015-02-03T17:59:40+00:00

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