The New Furnace

13 August 2008

It is Funky Formal night, and I’m not there.  Weird.  I can hear the music—they’re doing the limbo right now.

In the past, when I’ve missed this annual event, it’s been because I was in Texas.  But, this time, I’m here—I’m just a little too busy to gift myself with a night off, when I’m going to be taking most of the next two days off!  So, I worked in the workshop, from about four o’clock until about eleven.  And, now, I’m back in my little house where I’ll spend the next couple of hours replacing the beads on a skirt I’ll want to wear this weekend.  I expect it’ll be pretty darned late by the time I go take a shower and crawl into bed.

I sewed for the whole second part of the day, but my photo today is representative of the first part of my day.  I spent six hours today in the glass studio!  Woo hoo!  First time this season, and I’ve really been missing it!  Finally, my schedule and the gaffer’s, both allowed for me to be her apprentice today.  I didn’t do a whole lot, and in fact, I know Shannon could have done everything we did today, completely alone.  But, I also know that I was a help to her, and enabled the work to go faster and smoother.

The new furnace is pretty neat—it’s bigger and hotter and newer and at first a little intimidating.  But, I actually found it easier to gather glass, and was using the stands as leverage much better than I ever have before.  I didn’t actually “blow” glass today, but I did lots of little gathers, and marvering, and a little bit of paddling.  And, quite a bit of torch work.  I helped make pumpkins!  I’d never even seen Shannon make a pumpkin before, much less assist with one.  But, now I have!  After filling the leer with pumpkins, we worked on refilling the supply of broken shards Shannon uses in making her fairy balls.  And, then, we charged the furnace (we added glass “batch”, and turned the furnace up).  My job there, was to simply man the door of the furnace (it’s so nice to have a door!), but it made me think . . . absolutely every minute job in that studio is a great learning experience.  I started the day, a little bit trepidatious about the new furnace, and now, just a few hours later, I’m very comfortable with it.  The pipe handling felt familiar and comfortable.  The paddle natural in my hands.  It was certainly very validating to know I didn’t forget everything in the interim ten months.

The only other photo worth uploading to Flickr today, was the one I took of Bailey, one of Shannon’s incredible dogs.

~MB