Saturday, May 10, 2014

Glassblowing Field Trip

Last week some of us took some little friends on a field trip to learn about glassblowing.  When you see beautiful beads like these you don't usually think about how they were made, but after this field trip we will!  The whole process is so interesting!

Here Mrs. Sweeney prepares the glass stick (in her right hand) by warming it near the flame.  You may want to click on the pictures for a closer look.

Then she starts to wrap the melting glass around the mandrel to form the bead.

Watching the demonstration

In the flame, the bead is yellow...

..but when you take it out, it cools to orange...

...and then the original color appears.

With a white glass stick, she adds dots...

...then covers the dots in translucent glass of different colors...

...then flattens it to make a square bead, and adds little dots at the corners.

And there we have the finished (except for being "baked" in the kiln) bead.  Did you ever know there were so many steps involved in making one small bead?

It was really neat to see how to make the various beads.  

Mrs. Sweeney had a display of beads and beaded jewelry she had made, and she had her audience pick different designs that we wanted to watch her make.

Interested onlookers

These glasses help you to be able to see more clearly when you are looking into the flame.

Making a necklace out of the beads

Look at these amazing beads she has created!

Earrings, anyone?

Special thanks to Mrs. Sweeney for an amazing field trip!

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