I have had a recent post about blowing glass from the hot shop at Tacoma. Prior to that visit, though, we made a trip to the Chihuly Museum in Seattle. Out in the garden, they have a small hot shop set up based around an Airstream trailer. They were demonstrating some glass blowing techniques to the visitors and I wandered around looking to get some shots. It was already pretty dark by the time we were watching so it was a bit tricky getting some shots. Moreover, the intense contrast between the glow from the ovens and the dim external lighting made things harder to balance. I just played around to see what I could get.
The hot shop at the Tacoma Glass Museum proved to be a lot of fun. We went in there as soon as we arrived because we had been watching them at work on a monitor while we were in line to buy our tickets. We also knew they would have a break later in our visit so wanted to make sure we saw the work underway. The shop is laid out to provide a lot of options for the visitors.
There is a seating gallery area built up at the back of the studio so people can sit and watch what is going on. A camera operator moves around the shop providing close up shots of the work which are shown on monitors to give a more detailed view of the work. Meanwhile, a guy was providing commentary on what was happening and answering questions from the crowd. There was also a walkway that went above and behind the work space so it was possible to look down on exactly what they were doing from quite close in.
The team were working on a candelabra in glass which appeared to be a new idea that they had. They got quite well through the work when it shattered. They went back to the beginning and edited the design the second time around. The simplified some elements and reinforced others and this time everything worked out well. We were fascinated by the whole thing and watched them all the way to completion of the work. Even if the rest of the museum hadn’t been there, this would have been worthwhile for a visit on its own.