One of my most favorite ever New Year’s Resolutions was set earlier this year, when I promised myself that I would try something new each and every month. I feel like it’s helped me expand my horizons so much, and I’ve done a lot of things that I never thought that I would ever do! Here’s a full list of what I’ve done this year if you want to go back and check it out:
- Learned how to curl
- Visited Hamilton Pool in Austin, TX
- Rocked a trail half marathon
- Got my first facial
- Enjoying whiskey at a distillery
- Learned how to can
- August: Throwing knives, mountain biking, trolling
- Building a terrarium
- October: Moving to Minneapolis, 3rd apartment in a year, marathon-international travel sandwich
- Making lefse
Most recently (and to top off the year!): I took a glassblowing class.
I first had the idea of maybe trying glassblowing a few years ago when I moved to Austin and a local studio had a class where you could make a glass pumpkin (SO COOL), but it was sold out. I did some research when I lived down there and couldn’t find a studio that had what I was looking for. But here in Minneapolis, I was in luck!
I signed up with the first two classes for beginners at Stone Arch Glass Studio. They actually hold them back-to-back so you spend your entire day in the studio, learning the basics and everything that you need to know to get started with glassblowing.
Since you are playing with fire all day, they kick off the class with a safety lesson. Biggest thing that I learned in this briefing? You can go BLIND from glassblowing. You have to wear these special glasses so that you don’t see the sodium flares, which can cause blindness over time. I must admit, this terrified me a little bit.
For reference, here’s what it looks like without glasses:
And what it looks like when you have glasses on:
From there, we were introduced to the torches that we would be using for the day (I guess the technical term that is used for the type of glassblowing that we did was “lamping” and is one of the original types of glassblowing).
They have these rods — that can either be solid or hollow — that you use for melting the glass, and then turning into whatever you create. I had no idea that this is how it was done! Basically, you stick it into the flame, it melts and you work on manipulating it. I had fun creating some weird brain-like things at first:
And then we learned how to make marbles at the end of the rods:
Those were the basis for what we did the rest of the day… adding color and creating some goodies!
I LOVED that part of the class… basically you take a tool to flatten the ball (when it’s hot) and then add a few streaks of color (which are also in the rod shape) and melt it. Add another rod for your other hand, and just go for twisting and turning and mixing the glass! It’s weird, but the best comparison I have is that the glass starts to feel a little bit like clay (not that you touch it — but from how you can manipulate it!) and you can just move it in whatever way you want because it’s so pliable.
I ended up making a few different things, but this little statue is by far my favorite:
I am debating about signing up for the next class. The only thing that’s holding me back is that it’s much more expensive than the other two classes I took, so have to see how that budget is looking. 😉 I felt like the glassblowing class was super interesting and I felt like I was really expanding my horizons (the goal of trying something new each month!)… plus, it was just really cool to create a glass object and know that you were the one that made it! I would love to make something bigger, like a vase or a bowl, but I’m sure that’s a few glassblowing classes down the road. 😉
Have you ever done glassblowing? What did you think?
What’s the last new thing you tried?
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