Our class worked on three different drills this week: trimming, wraps and we attempted making wicked big cylinders using three gathers instead of two.
One of these drills did not go so well. (The word attempted is a major clue)
Both the trimming drill and the wrap drill were pleasant little warm ups. I need to work on cutting faster while trimming and shaping the punty a little quicker to maintain heat for the wrap.
For our final drill, we worked with three gathers of glass to blow bigger cylinders. The process is essentially the same, but with more help from the assistant and more glass. Working in teams of two, each person had twenty-five minutes to see how far they could get. My partner went first, working all the way up to flattening the bottom before running out of time. As I stepped up to the plate (or in this case, furnace) I felt pretty excited.
Then my bubble blew in sort of uneven. Then my second gather was a little lumpy. Then my third gather was more lumpy. A few deep breaths and a couple blocks later, I was working with my asymmetrical piece trying to make the best out of a wonky situation. In hindsight, I probably should have started over. I managed to blow too much air into my piece, thinning out part of the wall past the point of return. Have you ever saved a helium balloon and seen it slowly deflate over a few days, looking more and more soggy? That’s kind of what it looks like when your walls are too thin.
This wasn’t really the way I wanted to end the class. My frustration during the last twenty minutes overshadowed the rest of the class. To be honest, it took me a little over a day before I even felt up to writing about it. But now, as I’m recalling my mistakes, I’m laughing at myself (just a little bit). Apparently time does heal all wounds, because I’m actually starting to think about ways I can improve for next week and maybe even looking forward to it.
So, my personal goals for next week are:
• Less lumpy
• More focus, less frustration
• Bigger, better, more glassier!