Thursday, April 9, 2015

A fascinating homeschool field trip in March

 We had such a privilege to go to Ambrosia Glass Art in Longmont for our March field trip.  Rowen and Beth took off work to go with us, because it was such an interesting opportunity to learn about glass blowing and watch an artist in action.  The picture above is of just a few of the beautiful pieces of art that Angelo Ambrosia has for sale in his shop.
 This is Angelo blowing into the molten glass on his rod at the start of his project.
 He was getting more molten glass on the rod from this very hot (2000*) furnace. Every time he got more glass on the rod, he used this furnace.  When he was working the project, keeping it the right temperature, he used the furnace in the 2nd picture above.  It was not quite as hot, if I recall correctly.
 In this picture, he was adding in the color chips which are different minerals and metals, including gold!
 At all times, the rod had to be rotating to keep the glass from getting out of round.  He had supports to rest the rod in as he turned.  It always had to be kept the right temperature too, so it was constantly in and out of the furnace to heat it back up as it cooled.
 He is turning the glass in a wet wooden ladle to shape it.
 He used a torch part of the time to heat specific parts of the glass that he was shaping.
He is shaping with a wet "potholder" type of thing while he is blowing through the tube in his mouth.  The tube is how he does the blowing when the object is bigger.
 Angelo had made a base for the project that he is sticking onto the bottom of the ball.    Then he got some more molten glass on another rod to "glue" to the base, and then he broke the other rod off the ball so he could work on the other end which would be opened up.
 This is after he had opened up the top of the object.  He was getting it exactly the right temperature before the final shaping.  We have a video of that but it is too big to be uploaded.  Angelo twirled the object around and around hanging down, then lifted it up and it opened up and spread out so amazingly.  He and his assistant quickly broke off the rod and put it in a kiln to slowly cool over the next 24 hours.
 In this picture the flat-ish bowls on the left are similar to the shape that the project became.
 I wish there was a way to put the video on, because I know all our readers would be fascinated to see how Angelo finished up the project.

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