Intro to Coldworking
Pratt Fine Arts Center
As I described in my previous post about Pilchuck, a lot of glass work takes place far from the heat and glamor of the furnace. In a "cold shop" you can cut, grind, or polish glass using tools that stay cool under a continuous stream or spray of water. Coldworking has the potential to make--or break--a work of glass art.
I spent last weekend standing in a puddle and wiping indoor rain off my glasses while learning the ins and outs of Pratt's cold shop from the excellent Rebecca Chernow. The class is a pre-requisite for being able to rent the shop as an independent user, so there were a certain number of hoops to jump through, but Rebecca kept things moving and made sure we had some time to work on personal projects. She furnished each of us with the raw materials for three projects: a square of window glass for a sandblasted coaster (below; and yes, I did blast straight through the middle by accident), a bubble to cut into a candy dish, and a solid blob that became a lens-topped paperweight (above).