A group of cops and city workers have for the last 3 years gone to a Uptown Glassworks in Renton to make their own hand blown Christmas ornaments and have some food and wine, a social night out.
We were virgins on the blowing front, so we listened closely to the expert blowers who are the artists in resident at the glassworks as they explained our participation and theirs. Thankfully we were not going to be given the actually task of getting the molten glass from the furnace on to the blowpipe and sticking into the glory hole. Last night we were given a choice of making a glass ball or a bowl. Rob and I decided on balls for our Christmas tree. We were able to chose the color of our glass from about 2 dozen trays of crushed colored glass. Some were of one color or a combination of colors. We could chose up to 2 colors and then you could chose a smooth, ribbed or swirled pattern.
We all gathered around and watched as we each got our chance to create. Well we got to blow. They gave us each a sterile mouth piece (a 3 inch piece of a clear drinking straw) that we attached to a rubber tube. The actual blower then got a glob of molten glass onto the pipe got it orange hot in the glory hole, added the color and heated again. Now they attached the rubber tube and told us to blow slowly. We watched as out balls took on shape (with the help of the blowers with his wet newspaper and paddles. He then placed it in some fluffy stuff, snapped off the pipe and the other blower then brought over a rod with molten glass to fashion the hanging loops. She then took the finished ball to the annealing oven to slowly cool down. The glass bowls were similarly made except after the balls was formed, the blower instructed the blowee to suck causing the ball to collapse into itself. It was then placed on a small glob of glass to make a stand.
Of course with all this came the usual remarks about blow jobs. Hey there were cops here, they can be very raw in their humor (well, so can I so I was in good company). There was the reference to the classic SNL Chevy Chase line about blowing. The usual, "I can't get her/him to blow at home." You get the drift. The female blower said that male blowers love this job as they get to tell women to blow on command.
We had fun and can't wait to see our balls, cooled and able to be handled.