Friday, November 30, 2012

Fun field trip

The kids and I went on a really fun field trip earlier this week. We went to Orbix Hot Glass and watched a demonstration of how they created a flat, decorative bowl from start to finish. Orbix Hot Glass is located near the Little River Canyon in Alabama – absolutely beautiful setting tucked in the trees in the mountains near a stream. If the weather would have been cooperative, we would have done a little exploring in the canyon. Unfortunately, it was pretty cold and dreary the day we went.
L: Just starting out. R: Almost ready to spread it out. There were a lot of steps between these two.
L: He torches the back edge in order to keep it the right temperature. When he puts it in the furnace to reheat it, the back doesn’t get the same amount of heat as the front, so the torch equalizes the heat. R: He used a mold to initially shape lines or grooves the length of the piece. Then, he opened it up by spinning it in the air and using centrifugal force to flare it out. Very cool. As it cooled, he shaped it into kind of a petal shape. They called the piece “lily pad”, so you can imagine what the end result looked like.
After the demonstration, we had the option of blowing an ornament. Although it was fairly expensive, we didn’t want to pass up the chance so we all took a turn. He instructed when and how hard to blow to make it come out just the right size.
Here he is adding the hanger to my ornament. I can’t wait to get them back so we can see the cooled, finished product. They have to cool slowly, so they put them in an 800 degree oven overnight and then slowly cool them from there. Our trip coordinator is going to pick them up tomorrow.

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