Black Girls Blow Glass?

Paint nights and pottery places are popping up all over but there is something new on the horizon, glass blowing.  

 

Last week Zoe and I traveled to Chagrin Falls for a blogger event at Glass Asylum.  Before deciding to attend the question did arise, do Black girls want to go glass blowing?  

 

I wasn’t thinking about us when I thought about the question but you the reader. Would our readers be willing to go to Chagrin Falls, would Chagrin Falls be okay with in influx of Black women spending an afternoon in the town square and most importantly would black women be down to put their mouths on the pole to blow glass?

I chalked it up as being able to have a unique experience for our readers and with that thought we were off to Chagrin Falls.  

 

Glass Asylum is located at 22 W Orange Street, right before you come into town.  It is open everyday except Monday, which is when they leave the new batch of glass to melt in the furnace.  They are also closed during the months of July and August for maintenance and because it get way to hot to do any work in the studio.

At our event, we were treated to delicious food from M Italian, which is located next door and Jim Alesci's Place in Solon who provided the delicious deserts.  The food was amazing. We had a full spread including authentic Italian pizza, salad, and Stromboli.

 Deserts from Alesci's

Deserts from Alesci's

After we ate Chris, the owner, told us a little about his path to learning the art of glass blowing.  He told us that he began learning to glass blow in 2009 from a private instructor. When his instructor moved away a year later he purchased the studio from her.

His first location was in the Glenville neighborhood at E. 105 and St. Clair but then he teamed up with the Burtwood team to open his location next to M Italian in 2015.

Back to glass blowing… While we prepared to make our pieces, we learned that furnace runs 24 hours at day for 10 months of the year and that it is  kept at a toasty 2150 degrees to keep the glass in a liquid state. I also learned the glass comes as small chunks before being melted

 "raw" glass...How it arrives before being melted

"raw" glass...How it arrives before being melted

Needless to say being in a space with a 2000+ degree furnace get HOT.  With the garage door open on a pleasant spring day the inside thermometer showed temperatures over 100 degrees. Hair Alert:  You will sweat and sweat out your hair so be prepared.

 65 degrees outside, almost 100 inside with the garage doors open

65 degrees outside, almost 100 inside with the garage doors open

When it was time to make our pieces, we selected the item we wanted to make, bowl, glass, flower or one of the many other options listed on our menu.  Then we chose our colors and if we wanted our items to be swirly or speckled. I decided to make a drinking glass.

 None of these are mine but they are some pretty cool glasses made at The Glass Asylum

None of these are mine but they are some pretty cool glasses made at The Glass Asylum

The people at Glass Asylum were very helpful.  They explained and prepared us for each step, wiped down the tools and helped us put our color on, round out our sides and told us when and how hard to blow.

After our items were finished, they had to sit inside the kiln for a day to stabilize and harden so we couldn’t take our finished pieces home with us but that’s okay.  It’s not too bad of a drive for us on the east side. If a 2nd trip is to far or not timely you can also have your item shipped to you but there is a shipping cost.

We had so much fun! I would love to do go back and have a girl’s night out there or make more pieces so I could have a set of glasses or vases.

What do you think?  Would you try glass blowing? Leave a comment below and check out the rest of our pictures from our time at Glass Asylum.