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Glassblowing? Check.

Do you have a bucket list of things you want to see or try? Do you write them down or just keep them in the back of your mind? I have a bucket list and I have finally checked off two things. The first was to get a tattoo (yes it does hurt, esp. on your finger), and this past weekend I attended a glassblowing class thanks to my son and his girlfriend’s Christmas gift. The gift of an experience is so much fun. This was something I would never have done on my own. Too many excuses, as is my way with new things.

I was signed up for the Art of Fire Glass Studio “one on one, 3 hour intense glassblowing” class.  Arriving early at my 9 am Saturday class, I met the owner, Foster Holcombe, who got me right to work. We practiced all sorts of things that I would be doing when creating my projects. He showed me how to get in and out of the bench with the hot glass, and what the different tools we would be using are for, along with the proper respect for the BIG oven where we would be getting the glass (HOT), and how the Glory Hole works.  I was taught to always turn the glass, centering it on the long rod. I then watched Foster as he made the cutest little caterpillar. Then I got to make one!! This was to give me actual hands-on experience so I would understand the process of putting glass on the end of the rod and forming different things with the tools.

We moved into making an ornament for my Christmas tree, which I think was supposed to be a sphere but ended up as a cool pear shape. I learned how to blow a bubble into the glass and how to expand that bubble till I had the ornament.

Next up, I got to make a vase after watching how to do it.  I crackled the glass by dipping it into water and then putting it back into the heat.

And finally, I got to make a second vase with color added to the process. He was going to help me reshape the lip of the vase but I loved it just like it was, not quite right. So much information and so many terms were shared that I still have not processed it all.  All the pieces I made were put into an oven and I picked them up on Sunday afternoon.

While talking to Foster, I found out that they also sell their creations, and when I looked at what they offer I knew we needed to have some of these in our Christmas Shop. They make pickles for your tree!!!
I hope you are checking off some of the things on your bucket list too. Life is too short to put some things off.  Now I just need to decide what is next on that list.

The Art of Fire Glass Studio is a full scale working art glass studio.  Located in a renovated dairy barn near Laytonsville, Maryland, they are one of the mid-Atlantic’s largest studios with ongoing classes offered at all skill levels.

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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