Whenever I go to a work shift at the weather office, I pass a glassworks called Nova Scotia Crystal near the Halifax Ferry Terminal. In the summer, mainly during normal working hours, they open their workshop wall so passersby can see them making bowls, vases, etc. Normally I am never there when this happens, or the lighting is bad, or there are too many tourists gawking to get any good pictures. This time I had just finished a night shift, so decided to grab breakfast and check in when they opened. It worked out okay, except for a dark workshop with bright light around it. Also, they were rotating the glassblowing tubes rapidly to maintain symmetry. Below is what I managed to get.
I have a special place in my heart for glassblowers. When I was an undergrad student at Memorial in St. John’s, I used to hang out at the Physics Society, which at the time was famous for beer bashes and for the number of members who knew nothing about physics! One of the regulars was Martin Hatswell, a British technical glassblower who made specialised equipment for Chemistry, Physics, the Medical School, Engineering, etc. Occasionally I’d go down to the glassworks in the basement and see what they did. Also, every year in their spare time they’d make up small statues, etc, to sell for Christmas. I bought a schooner complete with sails and rigging for my best friend at the time, a small elephant (Martin made this one as a special order for me) for a girlfriend, and a Chistmas tree for my sister. They also had nice flowers made from coloured pyrex.
Martin and his co-workers were extremely well trained, and some of the items I saw down in their shop would blow you away (sorry)! Some of the chemical items they built were amazingly intricate, and one item they were building for a display I still can’t forget. It was a scale model of an exploration drill rig about 2 feet by 2 feet by 4 feet high made in extreme detail (it may have been the Ocean Ranger, but I wouldn’t swear to it).
I have a great respect for glassblowers and their training, and while the ones here at the glassworks aren’t as well trained as my friend Martin from home, they are pretty good artists, and their technique, while from an older tradition, is easier to understand and enjoy.
By the way, if you blow glass, a propensity for the hiccups is strongly contraindicated. It you are blowing glass, you don’t dare suck back the air in the tube by mistake!
Anthony seems to have some relationship with Arabic.
a quickr pickr post