This is my new favorite souvenir for Seattle. A blown glass ornament that I made (under close observation) at the glass blowing studio, Art By Fire in Issaquah.
From now on, I am going to suggest this as an activity for my out-of-town guests. It's really fun. It takes less than 30 minutes. And everyone leaves with a beautiful souvenir (after leaving it at the studio overnight to cool).
I found out about Art By Fire when I bought their "Glass Blowing Session for 4" during a silent auction at the Compassion House Pie Auction, remember?
I brought three friends with me and we all really enjoyed it. First you take the prepared iron rod and heat the glass in the kiln by turning it constantly. The consistency of hot glass is similar to honey - you have to turn it or it will flow right off the rod!
I dipped my base glass into tiny glass pebbles (my base was green and I dipped into red and white) and then returned it to the kiln to melt the smaller pieces into the main ornament. After that, I blew into the pipe and turned it to make a round ornament shape.
This photo (above) shows the turning and cooling process. I clamped those tongs a little to fast (I thought it would be harder and I gave it too much gusto) and we almost lost the ornament, but the skilled glass blower assigned to me saved the day.
I just loved making this ornament and would recommend the experience to anyone (over 12). I've heard that people are happiest when they spend money on an experience. This must be one of those instances, for I love this piece of blown glass art and the memories I have from making it.