Monday, April 28, 2008

Melting Glass

Melting glass at 1100 degrees or more and watching that melted glass form into a bead has kept me transfixed on the art of glass bead making for two years now. Each time I am at my torch I feel the same wonder, the same awe as that glass melts and is reformed into another shape. I slip into another place where time doesn't exist, where the need to concentrate on what I am doing becomes primal. My mind opens, and ideas and shapes that I didn't know existed flow on to my mandrels as the glass cools and forms independently of what I thought it would do. I have no control over the glass. I am only the shaper, the one who allows the glass to do as it chooses. The flame of my torch and the heat of the glass take charge, and I am there to do as they direct. As though trapped in a time warp, I concentrate. I move the glass. I melt the glass. I see the glass become liquid again. Time stops and glass moves. There was a time when I tried to control the glass. I thought I was the master. It was then that I learned that glass cannot be tamed. It cannot be controlled in the way I had hoped. Since I have surrendered to the flame and to the glass, my beads have become good. I have learned to allow them to rule. My heart is in glass. It melts with each rod. It changes shapes and colors. It reacts to the flame.
Melting glass, who would have ever thought?

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