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Gone to Kansas City, Here I Come

I answered the call and spent a week at the Public Glassworks in Kansas City. Venetian Glass artist Mauro Vianello, taught lampwork glass techniques to a class of six students. Vianello is self-taught and has been making soft glass sculptures for 40 years.

The first day of class was all about shells. Shells are my passion so it was a great way to start the week.First we made a ball of glass on the blow pipe. We blew shaped and decorated. Sounds easy, right? You need the right temperature, right amount of air and the technique of shaping the molten glass. Luckily I had previous practice on blowing glass. The shaping and decorating needs lots of practice.

The second day of class was all about fish.Vianello made little fish, big fish and odd looking fish with bright colors of glass that became stripes and dots. Again it all begins with a ball of clear glass at the end of a rod, heat, shape and decorate. One fun part is making the lips so it looks as if the fish is smiling.

The third day was a visit to a "hot shop"where Vianello made frogs for a lily pad that another glass blower was creating. The collaboration of two artists produced some beautiful pieces.

The continuation of day three as well as day four we focused on sea creatures such as dolphins, shrimp, turtles, octopi and anemone.We also made seaweed and coral and attached our sea creatures to them. We spent a little ti me on flowers and birds.

glass dolphin family

It was an amazing class with a great, patient teacher. I am looking forward to working with him again. Hopefully Venice will be our next venue.

My favorite creation is the fish in the plastic bag. Back in the day many fair prizes were a gold fish in a plastic bag for the winner to take home to care for.

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