Posts tagged with glassblowing
Glassblowing the Brooklyn Way
It feels like a glassblower’s workshop from a different era.
Massive oven-like structures — inside of which lay pounds upon pounds of fiery liquid glass — line the periphery of the dark studio. The concrete floor, astonishingly clean under the circumstances, sparkles with the occasional crystal fleck. The ceiling is lofty and room to move is ample, but the air is heavy, and oppressively hot.
None of the craftsmen at Brooklyn Glass seem to care, of course: They’re all moving methodically, steadily, silently, busily creating intricate glass sculptures. Long hollow rods go into the round mouths of the ovens — “glory holes” (ahem) in glassblower-speak — and come out glowing with molten glass orbs at their tips. Blowing and clanging and twisting and twirling ensues, and magically, these tiny globes are morphed into things — vases and vessels and sconces. It feels more like 18th-century Italy, but alas, it’s still 2012, and we’re in Park Slope.
Founded just over a year ago by Alan Iwamura and David Ablon, Brooklyn Glass is an open-access studio that brings glassblowing, flame-working, and neon-bending under the same roof. It solved a big issue in the glassblowing world — previously, craftsmen had to travel out of state to find adequate workshop space. Now, problem solved. They even offer classes in the glass arts. Would you like to temporarily teleport to the Middle Ages and make a vase or two? Time is on your side.
Bending Light: The Art of Creating Neon
It was a gusty autumn evening in 1977, and David Ablon — long-haired, fresh-faced, and in his second year of art school — was speeding down an empty highway road in upstate New York. Hands gripping the steering wheel of his blue Chevy Bel Air, Ablon slowed as he passed a small building with a big orange sign that read Wellsville Motel. Each neon letter shone bright against the grey sky, but the last L didn’t. Staring at it, David had a thought, and pulled in.
The motel’s owner was baffled. This young kid wanted to fix his broken L? Well, why not. David took the letter down and sped back to his college’s neon studio.