As the founder of Greenbuilders, Inc., I cherish moments when a creative burst is revealed or a spark of organic genius is lit that I get to share with you, my favorite green-minded clients. Today, I am sharing such a moment.
Gutierrez Studios is famous for their parties. Even after the death of owner John Gutierrez in 2010, the parties have continued to be a gathering place for Baltimore’s young and old to trade ideas about construction and crafts, hear music, and have fun getting to know each other.
I was digging the scene last Friday night and chatting with the head of Gutierrez workshop and design, Kevin Weston, when he was called away urgently but Julie Corradetti. I came too. Julie and Anthony Corradetti run the glass-blowing studio next door. When we arrived, a small group of people was gathered around the ovens. In a galvanized bucket Anthony and a helper were mixing oil sand, treated for use as a mold. When they were ready, Anthony pushed an oversized industrial-era gear into the sand. He jumped on it and forced it to settle deep in the sand. Like sandcastles, but in reverse. When the gear was gently pulled out, the mold was ready.
Ladles of white hot molten glass were scooped from the oven, trimmed with an oversize pair of scissors, and then poured into the mold. Anthony covered the molten glass with torch flames to keep it from cooling too quickly, which would cause cracking. A second pour and the mold was full. Now it was time to assure slow cooling, first with the torch, and then by gingerly moving the glass from the mold to a cooling oven. As the glass cools it goes from white hot to red hot and is pried loose from its sand mold. With giant insulated gloves, Anthony hurried over the the cooling oven.
The completed glass model would be a work of art, a gear made of glass. I couldn’t resist returning to capture the finished photo, for all to see! Here it is:
What do you think?