June 23rd, Day 174: Museum Of Glass – Tacoma

My dad and I went down to the Tacoma Museum of Glass this afternoon.

It was pretty interesting, all the different types of glass sculpting styles out there. Although I’ve lived in the area for awhile now, I hadn’t yet gone to this museum (or most of the museums in Tacoma for that matter….), mostly because I knew it was something my dad would be interested in seeing. So, I saved my visit for a time he was able to go too.

The coolest part was near the end, we wandered into the auditorium, or hot shop as they called it, in the middle of a demonstration. There were about four guys all working on a large piece of almost-clear glass, each guy seemed to have a specific job to do, and they worked together almost without needing to say a word between them.

Of course, one of the guys is the main artist, and the others are his assistants. What I don’t understand about the process is how just one of these people can claim that the finished piece is his, since each of them plays an important roll, and the piece wouldn’t exist if they weren’t all involved.

From where we stood, about 15 feet above the display floor, we agreed it had to be pretty warm down there. The thermometer on the ovens said 2100 degrees, and even in a room as big as that one, we could feel it.


And here’s what my fellow Blogathoners are up to today:





4 thoughts on “June 23rd, Day 174: Museum Of Glass – Tacoma

  1. How interesting! I LOVE to watch the glass blowers at Silver Dollar City, a theme park close to me that has an “artisan area” set up for guests to watch. You’re right – it is soooo hot in their demo area but I was excited to actually buy a piece (vase) that I saw being made last year. It really is an interesting process.


  2. I love that museum! It’s one of my very favorites.

    To answer your question about the helpers not being the maker – think of it like this: a person writes a book, another person edits it, another person proofreads it, another person markets it, etc. All these people help make the book a success but none of them are listed on the front page. Indeed, most of them aren’t found anywhere in the book unless the author wants to give them credit somewhere in the book. It is true that a large piece of glasswork is not possible without the helpers but they do nothing that the artist doesn’t want them to do. When I was blowing, I had pieces completely ruined because a helper blew at the wrong time or used a paddle at the wrong time or the wrong way. And when I was being the helper, I’ve had my share of ruining someone else’s work. The artist has complete control over the outcome, not the helpers.

    Great post! And a reminder that I need to go back and see that museum again. Thanks!

  3. Looks like you’re having a grand time with your dad! Love your photos and how you have arranged them on the page. I love glass museums, still have warm memories of visiting in the Corning Glass Museum in New York State a few years ago.

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