Glass Blowing Experience at the wonderful Richmond Glass Spot
Thanks to our friend Cindy Hicks, we were introduced to the Richmond Glass Spot. We spent an afternoon there with the studio team (Chris and Sarah rock!) who taught as about glass blowing, gave us a demonstration, and then let us each partipicate in the making and blowing of a personalized glass ornament. (Moms--our 8 year and 11 year old both did it and the studio takes great care to do this all in a safe and orderly way so no one gets hurt.) It was gritty, industrial, hot, creative and AWESOME! My kids are still talking about it! Highly recommend it for a very unique family experience!
"The glass spot is a family owned and operated public access hot glass facility opened in 2007 by Michael and Christopher Skibbe due to the need for a comprehensive hot glass studio in the Richmond/central Virginia area. From classes for the beginning glass artist to studio rental for advanced glass workers, we are dedicated to the teaching, creating and promoting of the art glass world in Richmond and beyond."
What we learned:
Once the furnace has been prepared and loaded with glass, it has to reach 2282 degrees F to melt the glass.
A "Glory Hole" is a small furnace used to keep glass malleable so that it can be worked.
Once a glass piece is finished, it has to be put into the annealing kiln without delay to prevent the piece from cooling to quickly.
The annealing kiln remains at a temperature of +900 degrees F, which is the same temperature as the finished piece. Any hotter and the piece will collapse and lose shape. Any cooler, and the piece will crack. Once loaded with glass pieces. it is gradually taken down to room temperature to relieve thermal strain and stress within the glass.
Check out their schedule for upcoming classes and single day studio events. They also do unique kid birthday parties and GNO's! (Last Christmas, you could even sign up on the hour to come in and make a glass ornament!)