Just finish my Expore glassblowing class at Hot Shop Glass in Racine. What a blast! It's a roughly one hour class for $35, and worth every penny. The other two people scheduled to take this session with me never showed up, so I got to have a solo session.
Doug first showed me around the studio, and told me what everything was called. I promptly forgot. Then he made a demonstration paperweight for me. I decided to do a paperweight rather than an ornament. While the ornament requires actually blowing the glass, which would have been cool, what would I do with a big glass ball? Paperweights, on the other hand, are right up my alley.
So, after watching Doug do it, he then walked me through the process. Doug took care of gathering molten glass onto the pontil, and helped me to shape it. He then walked me through adding layers of color (I chose an intense blue and a spring green), and shaping the ball, and adding the impressions that produce bubbles in the finished work. Finally, he performed the final gather, and helped me to separate the finished paperweight from the pontil.
The paperweight is in the annealing furnace now, and I can't make it back to pick it up until next weekend. Can't wait to see how it turned out! Why don't I know already? Well, the glass is so hot, that colors like the green look all muddy until it's totally cooled off. So, keep your fingers crossed. I'll post photos when I retrieve the finished object.
I highly recommend this Explore class. It isn't much time or money, and the people at Hot Shop Glass are very friendly. Thanks, Doug for a great experience! (Now I just have to decide if I can commit the time to an extended beginner's class. There is, after all, a baby on the way!)