Here’s a hot way to ward off the chills this fall and winter:
Try your hand – and lungs – at glass-blowing during special classes at the Glass Academy in Dearborn.
You might surprise yourself and find you’re hot stuff — talented — at performing this age-old craft. But even if you don’t produce a museum-quality work of art, you’ll certainly create warm memories along with a glass paperweight, pulled flower or fall leaf to take home.
I visited the Academy studio with friends on a hot, sticky summer night and learned that the roaring, 2,100-degree furnace was five times hotter than my kitchen oven – phew!
But while it was 100 degrees inside the warehouse even with fans whirring, it was really cool to work with the hot glass.
Aided by our able Glass Academy instructor, Becca Goldberg, we also blew giant glass bubbles – and marveled at how therapeutic it was smashing the gossamer-thin creations afterward in a garbage can.
We took turns gingerly dipping a pipe into the molten glass and trying to make the hot liquid stay attached to the five-foot long steel pole clutched in our hands.
We also worked — very carefully — with the molten glass to form a “blob,” and then moved on to create a glass paperweight souvenir.
Mine sits on my office desk, and memories of the fun we had making it are sure to warm me up during the cold days ahead. It’s a great activity for birthdays, bachelorette parties and other group celebrations.
You can check out The Glass Academy warehouse this weekend — and hand-pick a pumpkin — during the Academy’s annual Glass Pumpkin Fest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The warehouse is at 25331 Trowbridge.
Call (313) 561-4527 or check www.glassacademy.com for the class and event schedule. The Academy typically is open Wednesday through Saturday.
The Pumpkin Fest, with live demonstrations, continues next Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, at Lands Architects, 421 Miller Road, Ann Arbor.