The Magic of Blowing Glass
Updated: Aug 16, 2020
I have a friend Christy and she is up for anything crazy I throw her way, which I love. Axe throwing? Cool. Glass blowing? Absolutely.
In honor of International Wine Day, Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Fine Art Gallery in historic downtown Grapevine, Texas, offered a wine and cheese plate special with a little something extra. For $69, we got to create our own blown-glass creation with the help of a glass artisan.
The first stop was checking into the gallery. I was truly amazed at all of the beautiful pieces they had on display and for sale – talk about inspiring! Here are a few I loved.
Next, we went back into the studio and got started. I decided to create a teal wine glass, while my friend Christy opted for a cobalt blue one.
Vetro team member Jorma Rahja, originally from Finland, was our "glass tour guide extraordinaire." Jorma and another team member carefully walked us through the different steps as we created our pieces with them.
After a safety explanation, Jorma dipped a steel rod into a large vat of liquefied glass and gathered a fiery blob on the tip of the rod. This liquid glass was around 2,400° F! Then, we rolled it into a mixture of crushed glass to create the teal color. The steel rod then went back into the fire. When it came out again a few minutes later, he and I "twirled" it back and forth constantly to keep the glass from being lopsided. To further shape it, Jorma used large tweezers, his own breath, small amounts of additional hot glass, and wooden paddles, to name a few tools. Shortly thereafter, a lovely wine goblet emerged! Here's Jorma in action.
The items have to slowly cool over the next few days and you return to pick up your pieces. And here they are! I love them! They are quite heavy and the wave and beautiful blending of colors really are my favorite part. The staff at Vetro are so friendly, in speaking with them they let me know they have additional classes coming up, beautiful orbs and ornaments are some of the other items in future classes. I WILL be back!
If you have the chance to try your hand at glass blowing at Vetro, round up your buddies and do it. You won't be disappointed! You could make a day of it with glass blowing and visits around the historic downtown Grapevine area – there are wineries, restaurants, and shopping within walking distance of the gallery. Every hour they have a "shoot out" at the tower, check that out, too! I know I'll be back for more. Thank you for joining me on this adventure!