Friday, February 6, 2015

Blow Your Own Glass Date.

Two months ago we went on one of the funnest dates we've ever done! Over the summer we snagged a Living Social deal for a blow your own glass activity at Rainier Glass Studio and amidst being sick, Joey standing watch, scouts, and general business, we finally found a free day in December to cash in our vouchers. So we hopped on a ferry to Seattle for a fun day!
The glass studio is at the Old Rainier Brewery, a site that's been brewing beer since 1878. The Rainier Brewing Company stopped brewing beer there in 1999 but since then the building has been used by various businesses like Tully's for coffee roasting, Emerald City Brewery, recording studios, and other art studios. Its quite a neat building and a fun place to explore.
First we picked out what we wanted to make (both of us chose decorative bowls) and then chose our colors from trays of colored glass bits. The colored pieces were spread on a table while our instructor, Owen, grabbed clear melted glass from a large container. We rolled the melted glass in the colored pieces and then placed it in the furnace, slowly rolling it to melt and incorporate the colors. 
Once the colors were added the glass was rolled in to a ball shape. Then we each slowly blew air into our pieces with a long hose connected to the other end of the pole. This enlarged the glass ball.
Curran was such a trooper the whole time! He was very flirty with the staff (as usual) and quite content to hang out in the ring sling. And Rainier Glass was so wonderful about having him there. Definitely a family friendly business which we really appreciated.
After the glass expanded to the right size, Owen used a blow torch to pop a hole in the top of the globe and then used tongs to slowly stretch the opening, creating the lip of the bowl. At this point Joey also had dark green glass added to the top to create a lip wrap.
Next the piece was alternately spun and placed in the furnace to create just the right size before being spun quickly to add the fluted lip. The bowl was clipped off the metal rod and placed in a round of melted glass to create the stand, and was finally put in another, slightly cooler kiln to cool for four days. 
We loved, loved, loved our time at Rainier Glass! Everyone was so nice, and extra sweet to Curran. It was fun to help create special pieces of artwork for our home and we hope to go to some of their actual glass art classes to learn more. 
After our activity we walked around the brewery to take a look at some of the other creative businesses before heading back home.
While already in Seattle last month, we stopped by to pick up our pieces and were so pleased with the results! Joey is already using his to hold some of his wooden yo-yos and mine is sitting pretty on our bookshelf. We'd love to make more glass pieces!
Here's a little video I put together of Joey and me making our one of a kind glass bowls. Hands down one of our favorite, more creative dates we've ever been on.

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