Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance." ~Japanese Proverb

So, I was looking for dancing quotes for the title of this page and found this one:

Do you think dyslexic people have difficulty dancing to "Y.M.C.A."?  ~Dave Sokolowski

Does everyone else laugh too or is it slightly cruel?  I am dying laughing about it!  But, I am bit dark and sometimes a bit mean.  I just get these funny images of people dancing the YMCA at a wedding and someone just keeps doing the wrong letters right up front and center... potentially the groom! hahahaha oh god I need to let this one go, I am worried no one else will find it as hilarious as me.

Annnnd, moving on to today!

It was back to blowing in molds... big surprise.  BUT! The good news it went much better today. I cranked out a ton of nice thick bowls for deep cutting and worked all morning.  Well, until I was exhausted which was about 15 minutes before lunch.  

The interesting thing about the morning was that the Art Glass Students, aka 3rd years to me, habits die hard, were present in the hot shop! There are 15 of them this year which is a lot and it appears to be mostly girls.  It will be nice to have more girls in the shop, unless they suck I suppose, but I have high hopes.  Three of them sat behind me at the glory hole and I guess they were excited to be back because they kept talking in super annoying high pitched voices saying "verrrry good" "sooooo pretty" "you're grrrreat!" and I wanted to jab an end of the jacks in their eyes.  Someone referred to them as The Heathers from that hilarious 80's movie with Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.  Which of course made me start remembering really absurd lines from the movie which have way too much cursing to include here.  Anyway, at the end of the day I heard one of the Heathers speak in their normal voice and they almost sounded like a man! Nothing like the obnoxious kid's entertainer voice I had heard most of the day!  Sadly they don't have redic 80's hair, oh well.  It will be interesting to see that dynamic play out... luckily they are not in my class so I get to watch from afar! 

After lunch we worked on wineglasses.  First with a glory hole on the side of the hot shop with the crap glass and all the beginners.  It didn't go so well if you didn't see that coming.  We had to stand in a line to gather, the glass was weird and green and it was a bit stressful trying to avoid crashing into the new students.  The newest students always have this habit of gathering then standing just two steps from the furnace and staying there... completely in the way :P not very helpful.  So, Vegard and I moved back to the Art Glass side and made a few glasses with a mold instead of glory hole.  We were very tired so it was slow going but we made a few.  

Here is a picture of some of the stuff from yesterday... which honestly looks very similar to all the days before, sorry there isn't more variety yet.

 Piles of glass! You can see some yucky green glass on the left part of the shelf barely.
 I made a zillion of these big cup things.
And maybe 1681691681+98 of these bowls.

After school I went to the gym and took an Afro Dance class! That's what inspired the title quote if you had forgotten it.  It was a bit insane and silly but fun.  I enjoy dancing to the drum solos at concerts so it was kind of fun to dance to some drums at the gym.  There were some other people from school trying the gym.  This week we have free trying times where it is free for people.  I think I will go back, I am not sure but I think so, its fun and I kind of want to dance again soon.  I have a work out video with dancing so maybe I will do that.  I kind of felt like an idiot but I realized I didn't look any more idiotic then everyone else... so the quote about being fools either way really made some sense today!

Tomorrow I am going to Core Spin with Sigrid, which I am a bit nervous about it.  The class is totally going to kick my ass, but the good thing it that it is half core work and half spin (insane intense stationary bikes), not totally both.  But its over an hour long and I am worried I might just fall off my bike and Sigrid will have to scoop me up in a bucket to take me back to Orrefors!  So, please keep me in your thoughts tomorrow and send strong, enduring thoughts my way! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow." ~Doug Firebaugh

Well, today was another day of blowing in molds.... I am going to start dreaming about molds at this point.

So, the task at hand is to blow a bubble which is thin in the bottom and has a kind of thick neck in it right near where it attaches to the pipe.  Let it cool some and at the lagum (just right) time you gather more glass on top of the bubble but not over the neck.  Scoop it, paper it, blow in it and again at the lagum time you let it hang long and then quickly stuff it in a mold and blow.  Now, depending on the mold, you may have to continue spinning while in the mold which might cause the mold to spin, so you have to hold it still with one foot, balance on the other foot while standing on a step and blow and blow until the glass is cold enough to hold the shape on its own.  Flip it over and make sure the bottom is flat then break it at the neck (I just realized how barbaric that sounds) and stuff it in the annealer (cooling oven) before it cracks.  I realize this might sound like some crazy Cat in the Hat moment but no.... it was my morning.
We are supposed to do this all week.... Luckily, we managed to fill the whole annealer with glass before lunch which looks similar to this stuff that we made on Thursday:
 bowls and glasses which need their tops popped off.
 This is some of the green glass from the one furnace, its hard to see but it kinds is like those real old Coke bottles, slightly green tinted.
I made a ton of these today... It was struggle in the beginning to get my hands working but ended up pretty OK.  Also, it seemed that every time I was messing up the teacher, Marianne, would walk by and see it.  I guess that is how it always is, but boy was it frustrating!

After lunch we had a little meeting talking about the schedule.  We are going to do some free blown wineglasses, encalmo, overlaying colors, blown feet and maybe some sculpture.  And some cold stuff which we haven't even talked about yet.  Lots to do in a little time but of course there is even more that I want to try to do also!  I guess that is how it always is.

After lunch we made some wineglasses which went a lot better then the plain old mold blowing.  Except, I was having foot troubles.  I foot on my glass was never very round, more like a fried egg.  And my bats, sounds like butt, at the end of the stem where you attach the foot was too big.  I kept thinking of super lame jokes like "(say it in a drunk, fat man voice) I like my wine glasses like I like my women, full on top, long leg, small butt and solid feet on the ground." See, lame!  It was so lame that I didn't even tell anyone in class, just you guys! Aren't you special ;)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes” ~ Mark Twain

OK, so I totally lied about updating you about my summer and posting earlier this week.  I am a liar and a lazy bum... BUT I AM ON THE MEND (that doesn't sound like the right way to say that but I can't come up with anything else)! I will do better in the future!  I did so well last year I am sure I can do the same this year!

So, I arrived in Copenhagen on Saturday after lunch, took the train to Nybro and tried not to sleep past my stop.  While at the airport I saw a glass blower, some guy that I saw blowing last year at Pukeburg.  And, we rode the same train, which I guess isn't that surprising.  Anyway, I was too wimpy to go up and talk to him... what would I say?  "I saw you blowing glass last year, it was cool.... I like your beard?!" No, instead I was lame in another way and kept my mouth shut and tried not to embarrass myself in case I did ever see him again. 

Sunday I met my new landlady and her husband, they run the Vandrarhem.  They are super nice and helped me get internet and explained the overly complicated oven to me.  I went to a cook out at the lake with Sigrid, Vegard and the kids.  Thankfully they fed me so I hardly had any food in my house! 

Slowly through the week more and more students arrived and we regularly got to together and caught up on our summers.  I took my car to the shop to be inspected and get a new battery (if it passes inspection).  Getting the car to the shop took a few tries.  First, Vegard jump started the car, I got in it to drive around the charge the battery and instantly stalled out.  So, I had to call Vegard to come and jump it again.  Mildly embarrassing but, wait, it gets better.  The next day I was a bit hungover and went out to drive the car to the garage, it clicked and then didn't start.  I tried a few times but nothing happened.  I was too tired to think of anything else but going back to bed... So, a few days later I got Vegard to come back over and jump it again during our lunch break.  Instantly stalled out again and had to get rejumped.  This time it was even more embarrassing... we went to the garage, left the car and came back home.  So, after multiple incredibly obvious bad driving examples on my part the car is now at the garage where it may or may not pass inspection.  

We started school on Wednesday, we had boring information session in the morning and discussed schedules and etc then were told to go home for the rest of the day! It was only 12! Vegard and I decided to ask the teachers to let us blow some after lunch.  It was great to get back into the glass again.  We blew giant bubbles trying to use up some of the bubbly green glass.  The glass seemed a little hotter then it did in June, but I guess my skin is just not as tough after a few months at the horse barn.

Thursday we blew into molds all day.  It was great to be doing it again, but my hands and cheeks got tired.  We made tons of bowls and glasses for the cold shop for the new students to practice cutting on and etc.  I haven't seen them but I think some of them turned out good.  I think we might be doing the same thing nearly all next week to keep getting our hands and brains working again. Bla, I can only do molds for so long...  

Friday we took a field trip to Johansfors where they had a neat museum and exhibition,  Malin Mena's hot shop which was located in an old water tower and Boda which has been reopened and now has a museum, glass lab and Christopher Ramsey's hot shop in it. I took pictures, but you will have to wait for those because more excitingly, I have pictures of my new place to show you instead!

Today being Saturday I got lost in the woods and had to walk around for FOREVER.  I was by the lake and I was super hot so I stood in the water in my rubber boots thinking it might cool my feet down... instead I learned that my rubber boots have holes in them.  Awesome.  Also, I didn't find a single cantarell and picked some bad berries thinking they were lingon.  So, I went home with some flowers (I figured they were safe and wouldn't kill me accidently) and cleaned and unpacked my stuff and took some pictures for you!

My new place:
 This apple tree is in the front yard and literally dumps this many apples on the ground daily! It is insane and tasty!!  I bet the horses at the barn will be happy to see me :)
 Walking up the little hill to the door.  The one of the left is my front door.

 Those are my windows! I have three all together, I am going to be so spoiled after this.
 The view from the door!
 You can put your shoes and etc here!
 My kitchen table!
 My tiny kitchen, where today I made delicious spaghetti!
 Maybe the world's smallest fridge.  They told me I could use a bigger one if I need more space in the next door building.
 Ok, back to the door and table and stuff.
 My bedroom!
 Desk and fancy chair that Kirsten left for me!
 Tiny chest of drawers and tv.
 Sweet couch and extra bunk bed in the room.
 The view from my desk.
 My bed!! 
 View from the other window.
 And the closets! Lots of closets!!
 And of course my pictures hanging.
And the super safe flowers in the pitcher I made last year! Tres pretty!

I am very happy here and I promise I will keep you updated on life here in Orrefors with more regularity.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"The tans will fade, but the memories will last forever." ~ Unknown


Summer is nearly over... I can count on one hand, less than one hand... OK, more like an alien hand, with 3 or so fingers, how many days I have left in America! The time has flown by but I suppose I knew it would when I had exactly 2 months between flights.

Today is Tuesday and I fly out on Friday... the stress is starting to set in.  Mainly because I have done nothing to prepare for the move yet... such as wash clothes, buy meds or organize my finances.  What I have done is randomly pick up books every time I go to the grocery store which look good for flight reading.  I may fly back with only books in my suitcase at this rate.

Anyway, my summer has been packed with lots of fun things... though none of which was blowing glass... hence the lack of posting.  I will do a post with some fun pictures from my summer in VA probably when I get back to Sweden before school starts.

But, for now I am glad to be back (thank goodness I remembered the password) and will update you guys probably this weekend!!!  As always, thank you for reading and following and in general being awesome.