Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Glass Blowing 101

From when I was a kid I remember always thinking that glass blowing was one of the coolest hobbies out there. But like most people living today, I never had the chance to try. Until last weekend, and... I was right. It's pretty awesome.
Erin bought us glass blowing classes at Mind Blown Studios in Deadwood, South Dakota. It's a fairly small building that you could easily miss, but there's a lot going on inside. With one half being a cafe/deli the other half of the building houses a couple giant furnaces and a very talented artist.

After our instructor gave us a quick demo, she handed the long metal pipe over to us. The end has bright, glowing orange, oozing glass on the end -- and I'M supposed to make something out of it. Yikes. I took my turn first, trying to make an ornament to hang on a Christmas tree. First things first, choose the color, then you're off to the races. It's a constant race to heat it up, then form it before it cools. Unfortunately my bubble formed a hole, but I say it has extra "character!"

Erin went next by making a rose. Her project has a few less steps than mine and didn't include actually "blowing" glass, but it was still difficult nevertheless.
Her goal was to pinch rose petals into the burning ball of glass with giant tweezers all before it cooled too far to manipulate - then use all her muscles to pull it off the long metal pipe to form the flower's stem. Not easy work, I must say.
But Erin's masterpiece turned out much, much better than mine.

Glass blowing. Just one more (odd) adventure the Toews were blessed with doing. We love finding new and exciting adventures in our own backyard: The Black Hills.

What other day trips, hikes, classes, etc., do you know of in western South Dakota. Let us know in the comments below!


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