Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blowing Snowmen

Blowing Snowmen
by S. R. Karfelt

Yeah – it’s a hobby. Have you ever tried it?

Mostly I like to write. To say I’m obsessed with writing is a serious understatement. I’m fortunate to be at a place in my life where I can neglect the real world and write a lot. Not as much as I’d like – because apparently sleep is mandatory – but I keep pushing that envelope.

S. R. Karfelt

Books take a long time to write. Sometimes I want to make something faster, something beautiful that won’t take much prep work. I don’t want to use much writing time up doing other things – but the desire to create something sometimes hits hard. I found a way to get a quick fix.

Yes. I blow snowmen, or glass pumpkins – they’re my favorite – or a flower, ornament, or paperweight. It’s not something you can do at home. I go to a glass studio, with professional supervision. Molten lava hot glass isn’t a kitchen project. You can’t even take it home the same day you make it. Glass has to be cooled in a special oven overnight or it will shatter.

Glass Pumpkins by S. R. Karfelt

It’s worth the effort though. It’s beautiful – and if you have the help of a skilled craftsman it isn’t difficult – though some projects can be very complex. The glass studio I go to allows children to blow some glass projects. I often take visitors with me so they can make something too. Mostly because I just like to say, “Do you wanna go blow snowmen?” to my company.

Glass Flower by S. R. Karfelt

A glass blower is called a gaffer. The furnace that is used to reheat glass and keep it malleable is called a glory hole. Yes it is. Get your head out of the urban dictionary. Glass blowing is an excellent winter project because it is hot. When working on a project the gaffer will often have to put the glass back into the glory hole to keep it pliable. It looks almost liquid when it is red hot, but if you’re using tools to try to shape it – it’s quite uncooperative and stiff. It feels like glass even in a pliant form.

Glass Paperweight by S. R. Karfelt

Think you might want to check your area for a glass studio and give it a try? Let me know if you do! I wanted to share my little hobby with you, mostly just because I wanted a blog entitled “Blowing Snowmen”. 

S. R. Karfelt


  1. It reminds me of my trip to Venice, you know where they are all famous for their blown glass out on that island? We almost missed the ferry back. Let's just say it was a bit too close for comfort, and we would have been forced to stay the night, miss our train, and terrify a few people.

    At any rate, at least your blog isn't titled 'Blowing A Snowman' as that could be seen as derogatory . . .

  2. Well yeah, but there were more than one.


    In hindsight, if you had been left behind, that would have been kinda cool, wouldn't it? (And Venetian glass is the same deal. I haven't been there though, so I don't know if they blow snowmen in Venice.)