Saturday, May 30, 2015

Canberra Glassworks Tour and Event

31 May 2015
Kristen says...

A few weeks back Chris and I were given the chance to tour the Canberra Glassworks factory and make our very own glass paperweights.

The glassworks is located near the old railroad tracks and very close to Lake Burley Griffin. Our tour was after work so we got there just in time to see a beautiful sunset over the water.

There were seven of us on the tour, so they split us up and had four of us start to make the paperweight while the other three took the tour, and then we switched.

Chris and I were up first:

As you might guess, there are quite a few rules and safety concerns when you're going to be working with glass, so we spent a few minutes going over all that.

Then we got to pick which colors we wanted to work with, and which type of paperweight we wanted to make. Chris chose a swirly black and yellow pattern, and I picked a swirled light and dark blue.

The professional glassmakers put a glob of melted clear glass on the end of the long pole, and then we dipped or rolled that in the colored glass of our choice.

Then we had to melt the colored glass by putting it back in the super-hot furnace

I'm thinking, 'Please don't burn yourself, Kristen!'
 And then we used pincers to make some fun patterns in the glass.

 And then melted it again

After that they added more glass to the outside and then we rolled it back and forth using a wet wooden shaper tool (do you like these technical terms I'm using?) to make it as round as possible.

And then used a scoring tool to help break the paperweight off the long pole.

Then the professionals dripped some more glass on the work table for the paperweight base and shifted the scored ball of glass from the long pole to the paperweight base.

 I'm so glad they did that instead of having us do it!! I'm pretty sure I would have dropped it or something.

And voila! A paperweight, with an added bonus of a cool air bubble!

After we were done we watched our professionals make some fun cool things like a unicorn and a flower

And then we went on our tour, where we saw lots of cool things like the stored glass

Some artwork in progress

And this picture of Chris!
It's actually a very common safety sign in Australia, but I really enjoy how much it looks like my handsome hubby!
So that was lots of fun, and the paperweights are cool (and heavy!)


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