In the spring of sixth grade, my English teacher assigned a new book called Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz. It was composed of many monologues, all told from the viewpoints of different tradesmen from the medieval time period. I was assigned Piers the glassblower.
With the end of school approaching, I asked my mom if I could try the art. After searching for different camps, I found a week long program called “glass sampler”, which was to be held at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem. Each day we explored a different part of glass working, including beads, fusing, and glassblowing. This was the moment I had been waiting for – my turn to gather the glass. I nervously walked over to the furnace and grabbed a blow pipe. I will never forget my first gather. I reached in with my blowpipe, and dipped the tip into the gooey pool of glass. I had been bitten by what glassblowers call the “glass bug”. Eager to satisfy my hunger for the precarious art, I signed up for another camp called “Hot glass”, which focused only on working in the hot shop.
After the summer camps, I continued to study with a private instructor. My skills developed quickly, and soon I became more adept at handling the material. The next summer I volunteered to do demonstrations at Musikfest and have enjoyed doing so every summer since. Currently, my favorite form to create is the double overlay bowl, which displays one color on the inside, and a different one on the outside. I am also practicing with optic molds.
Last year in ninth grade, through a program called Afternoon Arts at The Hill School, I served as an apprentice at the Taylor Backes Studio in Boyertown, and learned many different ways to create glass objects. In the fall, I will start my fourth year as a glassblower and will return again as an apprentice at the Taylor Backes Studio.