There's an Annual Open House in Comer between Bendzunas Glass and Blue Bell Gallery on the weekend of Thanksgiving and on the weekend after. The two galleries are our town's "anchor" galleries and the engine for the local creative economy.
Demos all day taught onlookers how beautiful glassware is made. Here, Paul junior, following in his artist father's footsteps, heats glass in the furnace, turned to a balmy 2000 degrees.
Blowing the glass. It helps to have a bead of air in there as the glass ornament is successively heated, shaped, and blown bigger in stages.
Squeezing the neck of the ornament smaller and smaller, again, a task that is better done incrementally. When the item is finished, Paul will tap it at the juncture where it is connected to the rod to release it. If it is connected off-center, or if it is tapped just one millimeter wrong, the whole thing will shatter!
Released from the rod, Paul now adds molten glass on top and curls it around to make the loop from which the ornament will hang. Then it is put into another oven to cool...at a mere 900 degrees. Paul and Paul's work here. Next Saturday, Blue Bell Gallery's Open House! I have two pieces hanging in the "Angels" show. Wine and cheese and art on a Saturday evening...life is good!