Welcome To Granville Island
Granville Island near downtown Vancouver is not really an island but a peninsula which has developed into a famous tourist hot-spot. There are so many things to do here – you could easily spend a whole day exploring the unique shops and eateries. One activity we decided to try was something called glass blowing. You might have browsed or even purchased a glass-blown item before, since they are popular items for home décor. You probably didn’t know that workshops are available where anyone can try their hand at this artisan craft.
How Does Glassblowing Work?
The process is a complicated one, but if you find a good instructor as we did, you can pick up the basics and put your creativity to the test. Glass blowing involves using a metal rod to gather liquid glass into a shape that can be molded and designed into various shapes and objects. Our workshop allowed us to make a paper weight which is clear on the outside but has beautiful color designs on the inside. You begin with a base amount of liquid glass, combine it with shards of colorful glass for the unique touch and finish with a second layer of liquid glass for the general shape of the object you are making. Along the way there are intricate steps involving blowing the liquid glass into a bubble, heating the liquid glass so that it compresses back into a workable shape and smoothing the outside of the design into the desired outcome. This crafting is incredible to attempt, but don’t be surprised if passersby stop to watch – it is very cool to even watch!
Not Your Run Of The Mill Activity
Glass blowing involves high amounts of energy with the materials involved having to be heated to extreme temperatures. The materials are expensive as well, so expect to pay more than our usual budget backyard adventure ideas. However, for what you are able to learn and the product you are able to create, it is well worth it. As far as danger goes, one can’t be too squeamish when attempting glass blowing. There are moments when you really feel the heat, literally, but an experienced guide will make sure you are safe at all times and step in to help you whenever you feel uncomfortable.
Can Anyone Do This?
This is not an activity for young children or anyone who is not somewhat physically able to perform actions that require patience, concentration and a certain level of coordination. You sometimes have to do things with both hands at once – like roll the metal rod back and forth with your left hand all while manipulating the liquid glass with various tools in your right hand. Again, the guide will help you if you ever get stuck – as he said to us, sometimes he will “be your left/other hand for you.”
Once In A Lifetime Experience
Glass blowing was a very fun and unique experience for a backyard adventure. We felt a sense of accomplishment with creating our very own designs and performing a craft that not many get the chance to do. Thank you to our instructor Benji who has a very cool personality and helped us to enjoy the experience even more with his sense of humor and encouragement.
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