By Jill Soens
Looking at this elegant glass blown vase is as looking at an early spring garden filled with the first shoots of new and yet-to-be summer flowers, and the deep purple crocuses smiling at us as they say, spring is here!
A unique work of art anywhere it is placed, it is also a useful and brilliant way of displaying plump, fragrant white peonies in the spring, tall, slim gladiolas in late summer, or, come fall, the biggest of the flower kingdom, purple dinner plate dahlias that say we may be late but we’re worth the wait!
While flowers need soil, water and sunshine, glassblowing requires heat, constant motion and puffs of air. The glass blower gathers a layer of molten glass on the end of the steel blow pipe, rolls the molten glass on a steel table, heats it in the glory hole, while keeping it in constant motion.
Colored glass in various forms such as powders, frits and bars are used to add color by spreading the pieces on a steel tray and the artist rolls the hot glass over the pieces while turning the glass constantly. Still hot, the glass receives its first puff of air which creates a bubble. It is again heated in the glory hole, turned, and the process is repeated many times until the artist is satisfied with the artwork.
An ancient skill, glasswork has allowed us to keep the wind and rain out our homes, brought sunlight into our gallery, changed the color of sunlight with stained glass windows, allows us to serve wine in elegant glasses and display the fruits of our garden labor beautifully, to name just a few of the benevolence of glass.