Broken

Glass-Feb 2

Today seems to be about feeling broken.

I went to the hot shop for a little while, to observe and assist.

The gaffer was very cool and skillful, the novice assisting her had swagger too.

The stereo was badass loud with a brilliantly curated playlist from my era and older–AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”

And I realized I couldn’t hear most of what they were saying to me or to each other. And I realized I might have a tough time assisting the gaffer. And I felt embarrassed. Not so much old as broken. The hot shop is noisy even without music. I mis-hear things all the time. Just like my Mom. And I know I need hearing aids and that even with them I’ll have difficulty discerning spoken words from ambient clatter.

I went home early and for whatever reason found myself revisiting this old blog post about a bully. In the quiet of my living room I sat again with my vulnerability.

I picked up the little disc I’d brought home–the one I made yesterday: it was my first attempt at the steps of making an inclusion: gathering a small glob of glass, cutting it, pressing something onto it with tweezers, then gathering another, larger glob and layering it on top, torching any loose bits so they don’t cool too fast and crack, then carrying it on a paddle into the annealer.

The inclusions I made last fall involved a lot of help from my instructor. It was surprisingly complicated to get the steps done swiftly enough, while the glass is still hot, even with help. So Saturday seemed like a good time to try being calm and focused and walk through the steps again and again until I made one.

This one.

It’s lopsided, with a couple of hairline cracks in the back because I remembered to torch the top but maybe I should have also torched the back. Or maybe I just worked too slowly. Or who knows what.

I love it anyway. It was a brave little process, making it.

And it’s just kind of fractured, not really broken.