A typical day at Glassworks is in itself an oxymoron. Each day brings new people, new projects to fire, a new product to play with or a new lesson learned in the kiln room. What remains the same day in and day out is the variety, the excitement and the challenge.
Before anything else happens, the kilns happen. First thing even before the purse is put away I have to peak into the kilns. Like a child on Christmas morning I have no ability to delay my gratification, I must unwrap and reveal the magic that happened overnight while we all slept peacefully in our beds and the kiln fairies did their work.
Sometimes the pieces take your breath away and sometimes you want to slam the lid and cry. To all of our dismay, ‘things’ happen in the kilns that are unexpected. Pieces can get stress fractures; they can crack on the ramp up or crack on the ramp down. Glue can be trapped in the layers or slumped pieces can fall unevenly. Thankfully these mishaps are more and more rare as we try to control more and more factors before we fire the pieces. Alas, they still happen to all glass fusing artists and it is a part of the art world each artist must come to terms with in their own way. Luckily for our artists, if the kiln “fairies” caused it we allow a make up replacement piece at no charge.
The kiln firing is just the first step along the way back to the artist. When the kilns are sufficiently cool, each piece is washed and dried. Now it is ready for it’s last stage of processing: hooks, feet, frame, mirror or other findings. Setting time is important, then each piece is finally wrapped, bagged, recorded and set on the shelf for pick up. Whew, who knew how much work went into each piece after you walked out the door!
With the kiln work done, it is time to answer phone messages and emails, catch up on FB, go through the mail and open the door to our customers! On a typical day the first customers in the door are coming to pick up their pieces. We collect their bag, unwrap the pieces to reveal the finished piece and sign out the work.
Are the tables full of glass for customers, are there enough bases prepared, is everything processed from yesterday, are the tables clean and reset…the list goes on and on. The Glassworks staff works tirelessly to prepare the studio for the best customer experience possible. Just as a chef must ‘mis en place’ (prepare the ingredients) so must we!
Ah! A customer has come to create, another to book a birthday party and a third to drop off the school auction project made by the fifth grade class. So I have to go now. We have Kraft foods coming in for a corporate outing and preparations must be made.
Visit us again to learn more about Glassworks Studio, the array of offerings, new materials, and new ideas for group programs.