We did something new on Saturday. Borderline risky. Marginally unsmart. But overall an education. We took two small children to The Museum of Glass. Guh–lass. The stuff that shatters.
Having never been there ourselves, we had no idea just how much there was to break. Or if they would lend us a friendly smile as we entered or call in more security. But since most of Tacoma woke up with the same idea about going to the museum…I think we were just one more family floating through the door.
Here is one of the first pieces or displays right outside the entrance doors. Looking very breakable.
Separate from the gallery part of the museum is the Hot Shop. The place where the glass blowers, heat and gather and turn and blow the glass into something only money can buy. A lot of money, that is. It’s set up like an amphitheater. Which means if you’re there early enough, you can actually sit down.
And if you’re not, well you can stand behind the ropes in the way back and experience first-hand why they call it the Hot Shop. It be warm, people.
Here we are fixin’ to expire from the heat. Or at least the little guy in orange is.
Here this group of six or seven people will work for an hour and a half on a single piece of glass. Right now the guy in motion is spinning the glass.
And it’s like a team of surgeons. Only paid slightly less. The guy whose rear is toward us is blowing down the pipe to create the neck of the piece.
We’re at a different vantage point now having moved further up the walkway . Here we can actually look down on the piece and nearly faint simultaneously.
Somehow with those wet pieces of wood (the things that look like saws), this guy and gal are shaping the top and bottom of the piece. The guy in the hat…he’s spinning the thing. I can only assume they know what they’re doing.
How these people haven’t folded from the heat is still a mystery. Here they’re still messing with the hot glass. Hot enough to catch their wet wood planks on fire.
And here’s the mostly final piece. Pretty, I guess.
And here’s part of the crowd. They’re all looking where my daughter is…up at screen showing how powder is added to the piece to give it color. I personally thought the piece was prettier before they up and powdered it. But then, no one asked me.
Then we moved again. It’s what you do with small children. Hot small children.
And that’s them spinning and shaping the thing again. I think it’s heavy at this point. And growing more costly by the minute.
Then radically, in mid-sentence, the gal narrating the whole thing had everyone stand up and file out. “Sorry,” she said. ”We’ve got more people who want to see the Hot Shop.” Which was fine, etiquette or not…we got the gist of what they were doing…and uh, we just wanted to suck on some ice.
Here we are in the kids’ gallery, where they’d taken a bunch of elementary kids’ drawings and then re-created them in glass. Impressive, really. Only you’ve just got to look at them and remember what they looked like. No cameras here. But then they did have these huge dry erase boards where anyone could draw. That’s my daughter and her monkey…the one she hopes they’ll re-create in glass for her.
And here we are, wallets still intact, having broken nothing while inside.
And though we didn’t park in this direction, we walked over the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. Where you can see glass encased like this. Um…who knew?
And where you could see up close the glass pillars only previously seen from the freeway. And where you can make a quick note to be somewhere else in an earthquake.
And where you can look up and see more glass art, and wonder how on earth they got it all in there. Very Bellagio-ish.
And then because small legs and big legs can only appreciate glass for so long, we headed back.
And plopped down for one more picture.
We done did The Museum of Glass…
With small children.