Thursday, April 28, 2011

Scale and Scalability

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email asking about a coldworking job. An artist had a large belljar blown for him and needed a punty removed. Not a problem. I wrote back I would be happy to help and asked how large the bell-jar was. His reply was VERY large: 36”x36”x36”

I thought to myself, “yeah right” (big fish), but the next week when I saw the crate in the back of his pick-up, was like “right on”. I didn’t measure it, but it was just about 30x”30”x32”, which in terms of blown glass is off the charts.

This is where I should tell you that I sort of hate coldworking.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Check Your Pulse

Take a look at the image above. If your heart doesn't beat a little faster, you might be dead.

More quarter-sawn wood porn after the jump:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Feynman Friday: Guessing at Chess

It's interesting to think of how this analogy can be extended to any pursuit of knowledge or skill. You might try to learn how to play a game having been given one set of rules. You spend some time learning to play your game with and get quite comfortable playing with your rules. After some period of time you go somewhere else and see people playing your game, but the rules have changed or perhaps they have a very different interpretation of the instructions. At this point it would seem you have several options: Do you dismiss this new game, or do you try to play along and learn some new rules?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In Practice

These days I haven’t been blowing glass all that often. I have some time at RISD on Tuesdays this semester, but so far I haven’t really had anything specific to make. In spite of this, I still make the effort to make the hour drive back and forth to Providence from Boston to exercise my glassblowing muscles. Like many manual skills, glassblowing is nothing like riding a bike. Sure, you can not blow for a year and you will still know which side of the pipe to gather on, but there are millions of little subtleties and reflexes that don’t come back so readily. That’s why there is a big difference between me and someone that handles hot-glass 5 days a week.