Kelly handed me a pair of safety glasses. “Your eyes are at just the right height,” she said.
I was digging through a box of scrap glass, and snipping pieces apart with a mosaic cutter. Shards tend to fly when you use those.
Kelly was right, my eyes were in the danger zone – and I hadn’t even noticed.
When I handle glass, I forget that it’s sharp, that it can cut. It feels like velvet to me. Handling and cutting glass is soothing.
I love how art glass feels – the two sides of its surface, like Braille, talking of its history. In the scraps that I choose to work with, I can feel the fingers of all those people who made it and touched it and worked with it.
I love the edges of it. The cut curves, the pointed edges, the rounded end of a sheet. Satin and steel and water.
I love to feel how one piece touches another. How they clash or meld, how they cozy up or repel each other.
I love holding a string of glass over a candle, heating it just till it softens, the soft giving way that makes a bend.
I love fitting the pieces together. Love how a piece of glass eases up with just a tiny nudge when the glue is still tacky. How they swim when they’re floating on a pond of sprayed adhesive.
When they come out of the kiln, they’re a solid form, but each bit of glass in the composition retains its character. Smooth edges, fused surfaces, but many shapes.
Still feels like velvet.
Today’s penny is a 2015. I hope that someday I remember that year only for learning to make fused glass. Nothing else.