Last weekend I traveled to a town that was hosting an art walk. Several shops were showing off their wares of hand-crafted items, art work and trinkets along with demonstrations and refreshments. One of my favorite places had mostly second hand and repurposed pieces for sale. The store owner was working on making yarn out of some alpaca wool so she could use it for knitting. She was quite a character and we had a fun visit. I found a basket full of mittens made out of pieces of wool sweaters. The mittens were lined with polar fleece and very warm.
They were just what I needed to fit over the gloves I wear when I'm taking photographs in cold weather. I've already tried them out and they work great.
However, mittens sometimes make me feel like doing this.
The demonstration I enjoyed the most was being done by Heron Glass. They'd already shown the group some glass blowing and now they were going to make a glass "candy cane."
The apprentice, who's name I've forgotten, began by heating up three colored glass cylinders in the furnace.
Meanwhile Ralph gathered a glob of clear glass from the other furnace.
The trick was to put the clear glass around the colored glass shafts.
Then Mary brought over another glob of hot glass to add to the project.
That piece went on the other end and Ralph cut it off with some big shears.
The whole thing was smoothed together using this tool on a metal table.
It already looks like candy.
Now while Ralph heats up the piece, Apprentice is preparing another hunk of hot glass.
Here's the piece red hot and ready for the next step.
Ralph sticks Apprentice's hot gob on the end.
Then in a maneuver almost like a dance Apprentice takes one end and steps back.
Gently and slowly they stretch and twist the hot glass.
...and stretch, twist...and pull...
The piece was even longer than this when it got too cool to pull any more.
They carefully laid it down and broke it into two pieces, ready to be made into something beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful...these are a selection of the items for sale in their store.
Can you imagine decorating a tree with these bobbles? Wow.
Their work was skillful, delightful and way, way out of my price range.
I couldn't even afford a paper weight.
Still there were globs of glass they'd cut off the end of their vases before they were finished.
These little trinkets had been made into colorful refrigerator magnets. They were more within my budget so I bought a couple. Then I decided the best strategy was to Run Away! Run Away! since all I could do after that was maybe return with a shrubbery.