Archive for glassblowing

Feb
16

The Competition Heats Up at the Flame Off

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Last week during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show I had the opportunity to attend The Flame Off – an “Iron Chef” like competition at the Sonoran Glass School.  Basically the competition involves local and visiting artists competing to produce their best lampworking glass creation in 1 1/2 hours.  A panel of judges select the winners.  Here is the promo video for the show which describes the competition in more detail.  Sonoran Glass School Flame Off

It was very interesting to watch the process and learn more about this type of glass art.  Wikipedia describes lampworking as a type of glasswork where a torch or lamp is primarily used to melt the glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking, as the modern practice no longer uses oil-fueled lamps.  Types of art produced by lampworking include smaller glass art objects such as beads and figurines.

Originally glassblowing was done with small furnaces fired by wood, and the glass was worked on the end of an iron tube called a ‘blowpipe’. This method of using blowpipe and furnace is traditionally called glassblowing, while lampworking came later with the invention of various kinds of ‘lamps’ that could melt the glass. Glass blown work most often are larger scale pieces such as vases, bowls and glasses.

Here are some photos of the competition: Flameoff_SGS_Tucson_2016_competition-lampworking-glass

flameoff_sgs_flameoff_lampworking_torchworking_benchworking-tucson-gem-mineral_show

Here are a few of my favorite lampworking creations from the competition:

FlameOff-SGS-Tucson_winnerfavorites-2016

Many years ago when Patsy Cuthrell was a member of the MSLL team she had a favorite phrase: “You learn something new everyday at MSLL”.  I still feel everyday is a new learning opportunity such as this glass competition.  I never new the difference between lampworking and glassblowing.

So look around your house (for glass figurines) and in your jewelry box (for glass beads) for examples of lampworking.  I bet you will be amazed to find so many objects created using this method.  Let me know what you find.

Looking forward to our son, Aaron, and his wife, Kiori’s, Purring Tiger art exhibit in Scottsdale, AZ the last weekend of February. So excited to have them exhibit so close.  Here is the link to learn more about this art installation. Water, Art and Light

Enjoy your week.  I promise Spring is on the way!  Keep your comments coming.  Love reading them all!!!

Best regards,

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

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