I will be honest here: I am fascinated by glass art. Not necessarily with the finished product, but with the process itself. Heating sand into a clear substance and then cooling it down enough to reshape it? Mind blowing.
I decided to investigate further by immersing myself in glass art, this was made possible by Tigard, Oregon’s own Art Activity Center.
Where as many art shops focus on simpler mediums such as painting on a flat surface, such as a canvass or a sheet of paper, Art Activity Center in Tigard likes to challenge the art-interested with classes in such complicated fields as glass blowing (a glass shaping technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble with the aid of a blowpipe), Glass fusing (the heat bonding of separate pieces of glass in a kiln), welding, ceramic painting and even social painting.
“But I don’t have any artistic skills” You might be saying. Heck, I used to say this too. But, the Art Activity Center is the place for the novice to hone up on their skills… or learn new ones. There is no judgement here—just pure unadulterated creativity.
I can draw pretty good, but what I am not great at is more physical mediums. Melting and shaping metal and glass, not burning myself in the process and creating something aesthetically pleasing… This is what I needed to figure out. This is what I wanted to do.
So, I signed up for the glass blowing class and arrived with excited trepidation. But, my wariness quickly subsided once my instructor got started. He made the process look and feel safe and natural. He was patient when we broke not one, but two molds, and was encouraging when my accidental Picasso finally cooled and took its final shape.
So then, it was time for glass fusing. Affixing glass to another piece of glass, again, using heat. Glass blowing assuaged my nerve somewhat, but this was a whole new animal. New instructor, new methods, new inspirations. But, I had the same fantastic experience and, once again, felt proud of what I had learned and accomplished.
Sure, what I had created would never hit an art museum, or even one of the First Thursday art galleries, but it was fun and enjoyable and a way to exercise the creative part of my brain. What should I do next? Ceramic Painting sounds fun!
Art Activity Center is located in downtown Tigard. For more information, please visit http://www.livelaughloveglass.com/. Have fun creating!