Last night, my son & I attended our fused glass workshop which we are taking together. During every workshop they pull vitreous glass from what looks like an upside down kiln. It’s called Vitrigraph.
Last time we watched the teacher do it. This week Trent grabbed a pair of pilers and had a go himself. Now I’ve got to tell you this molten glass is at around 1750 degrees and you are working it with a pair of long nosed supersized pliers. Should I also add, barehanded. Wow, am I letting my 7yr old do this? If he was 14 what would I say?
Here’s video of what it looks like. We were pulling a lavender colored glass.
He had the time of his life pulling and twisting. I was playing guard with kevlar mitts pushing stray pieces away when they fell. Then one piece cracked quickly and just a knick on Trent’s hand (the glass is very sharp when it breaks). We were done pulling but had lots of fun looking through the bits of cooled glass a little later – finding treasure. Should we let kids do dangerous things? Yes, if they can exercise respect and caution. Taking risks is part of discovery.
The feel of molten glass? Like pulling taffy or very thick sugar. Fun? Heck ya. Dangerous? Sure.
Do it again?
Next Project might be to rent the mini kiln and do some pot melts with some of the vitrograph we’ve been collecting 🙂
More on the Dangerous & Wonderful…
I’m a huge fans of Gever Tulley & his Tinkering School. In his new book – Fifty Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do he offers a whole plethora of things kids should get to do (and which sadly most kids won’t get to do because they are considered slightly to mildly dangerous.)
Pulling Glass isn’t one of them but slumping glass (a bottle) in a fire is. We’ve already accomplished a number of the 50… I’m hoping to get through most of them this year.
Here are the other 2 projects ready for firing that we did last night: