2480 Memorial Dr Atlanta, GA 30317-3338
Remember when I blogged about my intense love of pumpkins and the desire to make my own? I included an adorable picture of The Corning Museum of Glass harvest pumpkin you, yourself could make. I tagged that on my bucket list for 2011. Never in a million years would I think that wish would come true this quick or by these turn of events. Now the title of my post is obviously about a date night idea for a couple looking to celebrate something special, or a fun activity that is physical hands on and more than just dinner and a movie. Beyond special date, I would also say this activity is perfect for two girlfriends looking for a fun gal pal night. Mother Daughter, Dad Son, Anniversary, Bridal Shower. Please check with the studio first to make the appropriate class booking. On Brenda’s blog there are summer camp pictures, but I am unsure what the offering for such a night would entail. This is a very physical activity and does need some moxy. You will be supported and taken care of by your instructor but it seems any younger children would perhaps require different activities.
For my night, I had no idea where I was going. This was a secret arranged with out my knowing. Since moving to Atlanta I have wanted desperately to do some glass work after seeing a special on Dale Chihuly. I have worked most my life in ceramics and know that medium in my sleep. THIS is so much different! On arrival to this very unassuming cottage, I still was in the dark. It was a chilly cold night in Georgia, I had been instructed to wear comfortable clothing and bring a light jacket if I got cold. I was told there would be snacks, but dinner was to wait so please make sure to NOT be super hungry. The door remains locked and you must knock. Each session is for you and YOUR guest only so no one else can come in and out or intrude. As we sat down to do some paperwork, I looked up and saw the pumpkins above and began to piece together where we were.
I knew immediately on talking to Lee I was going to love him. He is so tender, jovial and in love with glass. He pours over the talents of his fellow studio artists and really gives some detail on glass product, terminology and color. I was very nervous. I am terribly shy at first when doing something new because I worry so much about failing. I know, silly right. Lee made me feel so welcome and not at all crazy for being nervous. After a quick tour of the studio works and some basic getting to know you conversation we headed out back to our “hot shop”. This is where the magic happens !
While Lee set up some basic tools for our first piece and got out the safety wear for our initial instruction, we were treated to a beautiful bottle of wine, veggies, dip, chocolate. So tasty!. The wine was served in handmade goblets, which were beautiful and made me terribly envious. It was cold outside and I was convinced I was going to freeze to death. That would turn out to not be the case! The hot shop gets hot!
After our snack we were given our first course – SAFETY !! You are provided protective eye wear, and shown the no-no’s in the studio. Assume everything you touch is hot ! Also assume every piece of glass will explode to learn more about that you are going to have to ask Lee and go to a class of your own!
Off to the projects!
So I will break this down easy :
130$ Two Hours of Studio time and instruction. (We stayed a bit longer so paid for some extra studio time).
2-3 projects if you move quickly (which you REALLY have to – glass waits for NO ONE).
Wine, cheese, veggies, chocolate.
Pictures of your night!
These pictures are from my cell so I apologize for their fuzz. Into our first project Brenda arrived with Baxter. Brenda let us have use of the studio camera and when those pictures arrive I will post for your enjoyment. The first two projects you make are to familiarize you with the process feel and movement of the glass. It was not at all what I expected. It feels one hundred times different than I thought it would. Not floppy or runny, not heavy, but not super lightweight. It really is a medium on to its own.
Lee was my Murdock, my wingman, my BFF. He did most of the work I will tell you, as I had absolutely no hand-eye coordination and could not roll my rod while plying with jacks to form my glass. I had no problem porting my glory hole (rofl still makes me giggle), using my yolk and even proper bench sitting. I just could not seem to get my left hand to roll while my right was working the pieces. I did it, but again not as quickly as I should have. More practice for me ! My third piece in true LuLu fashion I did drop (well sort of cracked off the rod wrong) on the ground. It bounced… not even kidding. Yeah so while that’s hilarious – go ahead laugh – It didn’t break! Lee actually saved it and resurrected it from any potential damage! The third piece you make will be your hardest. It is the blown piece. Yes you actually blow glass in this last stage. I couldn’t do it. We had to keep re-heating because my ability to “put-put” through a 5 ft rod is not very on spot. Perhaps I need more band practice, as those that have blown reeds seem to do much better. As my date can attest to, no problems there. Grumble.
I was thrilled invigorated and just absolutely in love with this class last night. I hope I have offered you a peek into this studio and its wonderful instructors. I go in a couple of days to pick up my pieces and already feel like Ralphie waiting for his official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. This is SO much better than that!