If you’ve never seen live glassmaking, a visit to the Hot Shop at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma is in order. Go. Now!
I went last Sunday with the fam, and they’ve got quite the sweet set-up there. Visiting artist Ann Wåhlström was conducting the insanely intricate orchestra of moving, thousand-degree parts. Over the course of creating several pieces there were anywhere from 3 to 10 people working together, each with a designated role. There’s amphitheater-style seating, and it’s possible to walk 360 degrees around the action. A narrator describes what’s happening to help us newbs understand what we’re looking at, and a large screen shows closeups.
We were so impressed that we barely made it out of the shop to run through the galleries before they closed. I did manage to sneak a peak at the breathtaking work Glimmering Gone by Beth Lipman and Ingalena Klenel.