Sunday, 3 April 2011

Lava Glass

This morning we did something we haven't done before here in Taupo, we visited the 'Lava Glass Studios'.
I've been wanting to take the kids to the Glass Country in Sweden for a while, but it hasn't yet fitted in to our summer plans, maybe this year. So, we thought going to Lava Glass would be a nice little taster.

First we went into the glass studio to see them work, and we were lucky that both artists were there today, working together on a couple of big pieces.
The kids really enjoyed it and it made me happy that Lucas had lots of intelligent questions, he was a very keen and showed a huge interest.

This one is nearly finished. This is the owner of the studio, NZ renowned glass artist Lynden Over. Here he is flattening this piece on the bottom to make a base:

Nearly done, he is just about to clip it over to release it and then place it in a kiln called the annealer, to cool it down slowly so it doesn't crack.

We sat and saw two of these pieces through all the way, the kids thought it was great.

The clear glass is kept in the furnace to the right, which runs 24/7 on a temperature of 1060 degrees.
The furnace to the right is called the Glory Hole and is used for reheating the glass quickly while they work with it.

They only use clear glass. When they want colours, they colour the glass bu adding metals and minerals to it, like here:

Of course I had to pick out a little souvenir afterwards too..! Actually two small ones. They did get really well wrapped so I hope they will survive the trip home!

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