By Noreen Doll.
The opportunity to make my own glass blown ornament was one of my Christmas gifts this year. There were 6 of us who participated.
For this experience we went to a glass academy called Sonoran Glass Art Academy in Tucson, Arizona, where our instructor walked us through the entire process.
First we were shown colors, patterns and textures from which we could choose. Each of us chose different combinations, and my color choice was 1//3 ruby and 2/3 gold. It’s hard to describe the texture I chose, but it was sort of like snake skin.
To begin, we stuck a hollow metal rod with a heated tip into the molten glass to get a glob. You have to turn the rod constantly to keep the glass from dripping off.
Our instructor then stuck the glob down into a cup shaped container to shape the glob.
We rolled it in our chosen color of tiny colored glass bits
and put it back in the furnace to reheat the glob and melt the added color.
The instructor then placed the rod over 2 metal stands and we blew in the end opposite the molten glass.
All the while we had to keep rolling the pipe to keep the shape. As we rolled and blew, he shaped the glass into a round ball.
We had to reheat the glass and blow a few times before it was finished.
Next our instructor took the glass ball to a table full of rice, where he cut the ball off the end of the rod. Using a small amount of clear molten glass, he quickly shaped a loop in the top for hanging the ornament.
The finished ornament was then put in a heated oven to cool down slowly, and we had to wait 2 days before we could hold our ornaments.
It was fun and quite fast, and now I have a wonderful glass blown ornament keepsake and memory of that visit and Christmas!