From a project's beginning to end, glassblowing for Kyle Lavery is relaxing. The 26-year-old became interested in blowing glass after he visited the Corning Museum of Glass, in New York, while he was attending Lakeland Junior-Senior High School.
I enjoy working with the material, he said. From start to finish you're working with gravity and heat, along with your tools, to create something that started from a 2100 degree molten mass in the furnace. It's a pretty rewarding feeling every time you make something that turns out the way you had envisioned it.
Lavery, interested in art as long as he can remember, attended Keystone College in La Plume. There, his course load ran the gamut from drawing and painting to sculpture, but his focus was glass.
Glass is my medium because it takes a lot of skill to do it. It takes years to learn the basics. When you're working with glass you have to keep it hot enough so it doesn't crack, but you can't get it too hot that it's uncontrollable. It is very difficult when you're first starting out, he explained.
Lavery's glass, including ornaments, paperweights, pumpkins, sea shells, drinking glasses, bowls and vases with prices beginning at $15, will be available for purchase at the Waverly Community House Artisans' Marketplace to be held Nov. 17 and 18.
For those curious to know how a favorite glass vase received its elegant curves or narrow neck, Lavery explained the basics of glass blowing.
The glass blowing starts with a hollow stainless steel tube called a blow pipe. On one end is where the glass is gathered and on the other end is where you blow the air into the pipe to inflate the glass to the size that is desired.
He added that the shaping of the glass is done by the gaffer, a person in charge of the glass being made.
Once the gaffer decides that the work is finished on the blow pipe, it is time to flip the glass around 180 degrees so you can finish the other side of the vessel. This is done by attaching the bottom of the vessel to another stainless steel rod called a puntie. A small amount of glass is gathered on the end of the rod and will act as temporary glue, so the gaffer will be able to work on the other side of the vessel. Once the piece is attached to the puntie and broken free from the blowpipe, the gaffer will finish shaping the vessel until the piece is finished. Once the piece is finished with just a few taps on the steel rod, the vessel will be broken free from the puntie and put in an annealer (oven) to slowly cool down for about 12 hours.
Simple? Not remotely. However, Laver said this process is used for just about all glassblowing.
Regionally, his glass is available at the Corning Museum of Glass market place in Corning, N.Y.; at Tingley Glass, Dickson City and once a year at the Electric City Tattoo Convention in Scranton.
Artisans' Marketplace show times in Waverly this weekend are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $6 and cover admission to the show on both days. All proceeds benefit the Waverly Community House. For more information on the Marketplace, visit www.waverlycomm.org or call the Comm at 586.8191, extension 5. The Waverly Community House is located at 1115 North Abington Road.
Visitors to the Artisans' Marketplace at the Waverly Community House will have the opportunity to purchase The Doors of Waverly ¯ unique, limited edition, posters (some framed), prints and notecards featuring 25 doors selected in the community. The poster is the brainchild of photographer Paul Funke, one of the more than 30 vendors at the Marketplace.
Items featuring The Doors of Waverly are only available for purchase at the Hearth Booth in the Comm lobby during show hours. All proceeds benefit the Waverly Community House .