Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Glass Axis Ride

**Luka has the attention span of a fern, so the rides are short.**

I had the privilege of meeting the folks over at Glass Axis yesterday while out on a short bike ride with the boy-child, Luka. At six years old, he's only good for a couple of miles before the attention span goes south (thanks video games!). With limited mileage the order of the day we opted for a fun-ride with a slight detour.
We headed out and up through Grandview to a great place called Glass Axis. This old brick industrial building is home to several artisans who hand craft all types of glass products inside a non-profit studio. They offer classes during the week, too, so you can actually learn how to make things!

We stopped in unannounced, and were well aware of the fact that they may just ask us to leave. We were met by the studio gift shop clerk who was very pleasant, and promptly took us back to where the action was. Three gentlemen introduced themselves, then pulled up a couple of chairs for us to sit RIGHT UP FRONT and watch the action. They were smack-dab (do people really say that anymore?) in the middle of creating a glowing red vase with speckles of color, heating then manipulating it until it was absolutely perfect. Luka's face was alight with interest, and after begging him to leave for lunch, he wasn't going anywhere. The guys allowed us to poach their glass blowing session for about an hour, never being anything but helpful. They explained how the color is added via powders and compounds pre-mixed in Germany for perfect color balance, and that you could do it "in-house" but the colors rarely are as consistent.

Founded in 1987 by twelve graduates of The Ohio State University Glass program, Glass Axis was created as a non-profit organization to provide a facility where glass students and community members interested in glass could come together and share expenses, knowledge, resources and artistic expression through the medium of glass.

Glass Axis offers courses in all phases of glass art, including hot, warm and cold glass traditions & techniques. In addition to our resident artists, Axis has hosted to several Maestro-level visiting artists throughout the year, including Davide Salvadore and William Gudenrath.

The studio includes both warm and hot glass facilities along with a cold shop for grinding and polishing. A wide range of equipment is available and ready to use. Users must be members of Glass Axis to rent studio equipment, and prior experience is necessary (at the discretion of the Studio Director).

**Luka's fave bike, the Tomac Carbide**

I think that for me, one of the best things about this trip has nothing to do with glass at all. On 5th Avenue, just about a block from Glass Axis, there sits a McDonalds. From the bike, the scent of the ever-elusive McRib wafts through the air, filling my nostrils with pork-like b.b.q.-ey goodness. After such a laborious ride of much strain and effort (you know, about a mile or so), and after feeling the heat radiating from two-thousand-plus degree ovens at Glass Axis, you will be ready for the one-two punch of a McRib and $1 hot fudge sundae.



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