Glassblowing an Ornament
Two weeks ago I went back to Asbury Park – you may remember I spent an afternoon there in the spring and posted about it as well as made a video. This time around I didn’t just go to walk around and eat lunch, although I did get lunch. This time I went with the express goal of going to Hot Sand, a shop where you can purchase blown glass items as well as partake in the glassblowing yourself. I went in last time I went to Asbury Park and thought it looked really cool so I decided to go back during my birthday weekend. My original plan of going to a food truck festival didn’t pan out and coincidentally the last time I went to Asbury Park I also originally had plans to go to a food truck festival at the same winery. One day, I swear, I will make it there!
Anyway, I went to Hot Sand with a few friends and decided I wanted to make an ornament. There are a bunch of things you can make such as candy dishes, drinking glasses, paperweights, etc. I decided to do an ornament, which is more expensive than say, a candy dish, but it was a birthday treat for myself and an ornament is what I wanted. I decided to do a two color twist in my ornament, because if I was going to spend $50+ then I might as well pay the extra $7.50 or whatever it was to make it 2 colors. I chose a emerald-y green and a cobalt blue.
The whole process went by a lot quicker than I thought it would. When it was my turn, I went behind the counter with my safety glasses. The guy/worker who was working with me told me all the instructions, which I carefully listened to because I did not want to be burned by the 2,000 degree hot glass. Basically, I just followed his step-by-step instructions. Blowing the glass was pretty easy and you actually blow it. I don’t know what I was expecting – I guess I never really thought about why it’s called “glassblowing”. Before you actually start blowing, they start melting glass and then put the crushed colors you chose on the red hot melted glass. You blow into the mouthpiece attached to the metal pipe and the molten glass is on the other end of the metal pipe. They turn it as you blow and then occasionally put it back in the fire or oven and then continue to smooth it out in-between the blows. Once I was done (this all takes about 20 minutes), I went back to the other side of the counter and the guy chopped off the ornament from the end of the pipe and put it in the oven. Maybe. I don’t really remember what he put it in after that, but I do know they said it would take days for it to slowly cool down and set so I would either have to pick it up or they could send it to me. Since they said it would take about a week, I had them deliver it to me because I wasn’t planning to drive down to Asbury Park again the next weekend.
I was pleasantly surprised when the ornament arrived at my house last Friday – days earlier than they told me it would arrive! It is beautiful and I can’t believe I actually blew glass to create it! I’m very happy with the color combination I chose and I love the blue & green swirls. The ornament is quite large and heavy so I don’t think I’ll be putting it on my Christmas tree because I’m afraid it would fall off the tree and break. This is a precious item, people! I do plan on displaying it at Christmas, of course, just not on my tree. Maybe I can create some sort of table decoration and have it be the center of it or something.
Anyway, the whole experience was cool and the end result was a win in my book. If you ever have the chance to do glassblowing, I highly recommend you give it a go. I would definitely go back!