On Wednesday we had the wonderful opportunity to visit a glass blowing artist's factory. My son got to make a glass ornament! His older sister was so jealous... ("I never got to do that!...)
McFadden Art Glass in Baltimore allowed our homeschool group to come in for a tour and to make glass art projects. First we were given some information about how one works with glass. Then my son discussed with Mr. McFadden what he wanted to make and what colors. He decided on a Christmas ornament.
First, there is an oven where steel rods are heated. (I didn't write down temperatures, but each oven is real hot... I think one of the ovens was at least 2000 degrees...) The steel has to be heated so that the glass will stick to it, and not harden and shatter immediately.
Another member of our group helped out and blew air into the ornament while JD kept the rod turning and worked on shaping the ornament with a tool.
When it is finally done, it cannot be taken home yet. It is carefully carried to the cooling oven, where it will be cooled slowly over 12 hours so that it doesn't crack and break. Then we will get to take it home.