This adventure has been a long time coming! Glassblower Daniel Bell and I have been working together on Anthem lung sculptures for a few years now. Each time we would go work in Pensacola or Salt Lake City I would dream of the most economical way to bring giant furnaces and annealers to my shop. I always found a reason to say no until we found the Little Dragon Furnace by Mobile Glass Blowing Studios. I could tell you all about the furnace but I’m not trying to sell you a furnace- I want YOU to have the experience of blowing and working with hot glass.
My families Christmas Tree Farm in Hattiesburg MS is the current home of the Little Dragon furnace. It is a mobile unit so eventually we will take to to venues and do demonstrations and more performance art with it. My metal shop is not also a glass blowing shop:) Its the only functioning glass blowing shop in Mississippi! We have really enjoyed the company of veteran stained glass artist John Witt. John was in the shop every time DB and I turned on, it was amazing to see the community come enjoy watching and participating in blowing glass. I am learning to make glass flowers and be a good assistant to Daniel. It is a really team oriented experience and the best part is people can come watch and participate. Once it cools off some in October we will begin teaching classes and offering sessions to make your own ornament, bowl, cup, flower, etc. The times to book classes and prices for each will be posted on Facebook and available under the Glass portion of my website.
The first week we had the furnace going was the most excitement I have felt in there since the Anthem show. The glory hole/furnace combo was ripping a 2200 degrees on a comfortable summer night. Luckily the furnace is very efficient and beautifully made so filming around it is not bad. It took a month or so for us to fine tune the furnace and get the quality glass we needed for our orders. First up… a dozen wine glasses for Jack Kruse. Thanks Jack, we made 30 of them pick which ones you want.ha We had director and film maker Benjamin Smith come by to shoot some footage and blow a bowl. This film is Ben doing his thing:) Before we even had anything to be proud of glass wise he was already finding beauty in the process. Sculpture is that way… the process of the thing being born is often more beautiful that the object itself. Who can look away from the furnace when the glass is being gathered and worked into shape? It’s amazing!
Now that Daniel has gone back to Park City I look at this table top full of glasses and cups we made together- we actually have inventory- thats never happened before:) As beautiful as they are its nothing to the moment they first come off the puny and go into the kiln. They will be all the more beautiful in new hands with old wine and friends. I can’t wait to find them all new homes. Please come and enjoy our adventure with us, enjoy the thousands of hours spent learning a craft and seeing it all happen in just a few moments.