Skip to Main Content

Studio Glass ECS | Flowers from Hot Glass

March 10, 2020

Today we had a jam packed day beginning at Vitreluxe, a studio owned by a professional artist. At this studio we saw many examples of glass blowing such as vases, bowls, plates and cups created with a variety of different techniques to gain a variety of shapes and designs. The two studio assistants led the demonstrations, including creation of a “Prince Rupert Drop’, which is a large drip of molten glass quickly chilled in water that exploded to dust when its tail was snapped. They told us this is due to the enormous stress formed in the glass between the cold exterior and hot center. This stress is why all glass art is cooled down slowly in kilns. Going to this studio provided a great experience to watch actual professional glass blowing and to see the artistry that is incorporated into it. After hanging at the studio for a couple hours we walked to a group of food trucks for lunch, which included different types of food such as morroccon, korean, and vietnamese. Afterwards we took a walk across The Tilikum Crossing Bridge where we saw a gorgeous view of the Willamette river and we really saw why Portland is called “The City of Bridges”

In the later portion of the day we traveled to Canned Heat Glass Studio where we saw a company that makes custom-made furnaces. Our hosts, Jeff and Montana, demonstrated gathering and manipulating hot glass with a variety of different tools. They showed us how they use their special made furnaces and hot glass molds, which have hot glass that is over 2000 degrees, to make cups with cool and interesting designs. Then, everyone had a chance to pull hot glass out of the furnace and make their own flower, which was a great experience and it enhanced the variety of our glass-making skills. The guys that taught us had a lot of humor and shared a lot of interesting history about glass making. We learned that glass blowing goes back thousands of years to Ancient Egyptian history. At the end, he pulled a gather out of the furnace and within a couple of minutes turned it into a horse! Overall today was a day of interaction and exploration into the glass blowing world.

Click here to view all of the 2020 ECS blogs.