who are the watsons?
We are a 30-something married couple who decided to leave behind our home, careers and comfortable Silicon Valley lifestyle to try a new course. Join us as we travel the world to learn about other cultures, lifestyles and ways to generate income beyond the traditional 9-5.

Art adventures: Glassblowing

“You were number two.  Cougar was number one.  Cougar lost it, turned in his wings.  You guys are number one.”
- Top Gun

In the realm of visual arts, sculpture has always been my number two, and photography my number one.  Then I lost it. Now sculpture, and particularly working with glass, is my number one.  For how long is anyone’s guess.

I searched high and low for a glassblowing instructor on the Big Island — even posted an ad on Craig’s List — and then I found Geoff Lee‘s Island Glassworks in Kailua. Not Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, where we currently live… Kailua, Oahu.  I emailed back and forth with Geoff a few times, and he was willing to work with me to fit what is regularly a four-week group class into an intensive, one-on-one class (four hours per day over two days). Last week, Brian and I packed our bags and flew to Oahu for a few days.

Let me just say, I loved it!  I had assumed that working with 2000-degree liquid would be hectic and a little scary, but it wasn’t.  Once I learned the safety procedures, I found it to be pretty relaxing and enjoyable (although still hot).  In just two days, I made nine pieces — from small paperweights to glass platters to a vase as tall as my hand — with the supervision and assistance of my instructor, Emily, who has been working with glass since the age of 16.  Here’s a snapshot of the two of us:

On day two, Brian also came along to capture some video, and I edited it into a short movie of me making my first cylindrical vessel (drinking glass):

And this is my collection thus far:

What do you think?  Is there an art form you’ve been wanting to learn, but you haven’t taken that next step yet?

My glassblowing experience has inspired me to take more hot and warm glass-working classes as we continue our journey, and I plan to explore other art forms as well.  Stay tuned for more of my artistic adventures!

  • Sally

    I've always wanted to dabble in stain glass window works – but have been very afraid of cutting my hands. so needless to say I've done nothing about learning the technique. i”ve thought about other people doing what I want done. I've contacted two people but now respose. I guess I'll have to wait and waiting isn't a bad thing. I think your glass blowing class developed many wonderful things that you can be proud of.

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    That's funny. Stained glass doesn't interest me much at all, because it seems too easy. But I'd be willing to take a class with you, if you wanted. :-)

  • Erin

    Watch out Dale Chihuly! There's a new glassblower in town! AWESOME KATE! Congrats on pushing the limits in a new art form. ~Erin

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    Thanks, Erin! I'm having so much fun with new art forms. First, glassblowing and more recently, jewelry making. Who knows where I'll go from here. How is Bobbin's Nest?

  • http://simplyfearless.com/ Coach Cassandra Rae

    What a fab collection! Have fun exploring and expressing your creativity :~)

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    Thank you, I'm having lots of fun!

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