Trimming, fifteen minute cups and baton twirling.
Everett showed us how to trim our pieces this week. Why do you even need to trim your piece? Funny you should ask, I know I did. When you transfer a glass vessel (cup, vase, etc) from pipe to punty, the jack line doesn’t normally break off perfectly. The break may be uneven or the walls may be inconsistently thick at that point. For those reasons, after breaking your piece off the punty, you should trim the lip. Once you have a clean edge (clean = no tool marks, consistent wall thickness and even lip), you can continue shaping your piece.
Tweezers are used to pinch, pull and cool the rim and then shears cut just below the tweezer marks. We practiced trimming multiple slices off a single piece until there was nothing left. With that new skill, we were ready (in theory) for fifteen minute cups.
Everett did a cup demo complete from starting the bubble, transferring to the punty, trimming the lip and shaping the final piece…in fifteen minutes. Then we paired up and started fifteen-minute rotations, trying to run through the process and complete a cup. On my first try, I made it just through transferring to the punty. On my second try I managed to make it a little further, up through tweezing, but ran out of time before trimming. These fifteen minute cups seem to be a common drill in glass blowing, sort of like sprints!
Oh, and the baton twirling. I’ve started noticing little glass blowing habits, for example, my first glassblowing teacher, Jason, would sway the pipe side to side to help shape the glass. Everett likes to swing the pipe like a pendulum, and sometimes even in full circles like he’s a baton twirler. Any other glass blowing “twitches” out there? Have you noticed glass blowers doing funny little moves to manipulate their glass?