That Time When I Made A Paperweight

My job is essentially an event planning position. My title doesn’t state anything about events, but the bulk of my job is hosting various functions for alumni to enjoy. I hold a lot of receptions where I oversee everything from the front door check-in, to making sure the food is being brought out properly. Some of the events that I plan enable to me to be a part of the fun.  I love so much of my job and love how many different things I have been able to be a part of in the last seven years, but Thursday is one of my favorites.
My nursing alumni went glassblowing at Gathered Arts Gallery in downtown Toledo. We pre-selected a paperweight for our group to make. After an intro to safety and procedures, we were let lose to create our own masterpiece.

I am twisting the molten glass to create a chaotic design with the colors I selected for my paperweight. The gallery employees had a fantastic system in place to keep us safe and away from third degree burns. I did all of my ‘design’ work from this little bench. They taught us how to use each tool, and when. My giant tweezers helped me to twist and poke at the soft state of the glass. 2015-04-09 20.01.01After I felt my design was chaotic enough, he gathered more glass to encase what I created. We rolled this in the giant wooden spoon to mold the glass into a circular shape.
2015-04-09 20.03.20 After the glass was circular in shape, I used even larger tweezers to lightly crimp the glass beneath my paperweight. This process involved me applying extremely light pressure on the tweezers that pinched the glass, tapering it from the steel pole.2015-04-09 20.04.44 After they removed my paperweight from the pole, they smoothed the end that was just attached because it had jagged edges. 2015-04-09 20.06.09 Aside from the burning hot orange color, you can maybe see my color selections a little. Maybe?
I picked a bright orange and a dark blue. 2015-04-09 20.06.56I can’t wait to see what my colors and my design look like!
Glassblowing was terribly easy at this gallery and my group of alumni had an absolute blast! Glass takes over 24 hours to cool down, so I wouldn’t be able to pick up my piece until today, but I am in Iowa until Tuesday so I will pick mine up on Wednesday. So we’ll all have to wait until then to see my masterpiece!

Have you ever taken part in glassblowing?
What did you make?



  1. That is totally cool!! I have always wanted to do that, and now that I see how easy it is, I should bump that up on my To-Do list. It looks very pretty so far. Please do share the final results!
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