Tulsa Glass Blowing Studio

Monday, September 18th 2006, 10:51 am
By: News On 6

Glass blowing is an ancient art that is going strong in Tulsa's Brady District.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells found an artist in love with her craft enough to build a studio so others can learn.

Sarah Diggdon operates the only community glass art center in Oklahoma. A bowl that started as a golf ball sized glob of molten glass. Heated and shaped, then back in the furnace, to be re-heated so it can be worked and shaped some more.

Color will be added, more heat and spinning, eventually a bowl takes shape.

"The glass starts out at 2,100 degrees but it gets cold pretty fast." She doesn't really mean cold. A piece won’t be allowed to cool to room temperature until the next day. When she says cold she means like 1,500 degrees, not hot enough to manipulate, but still very hot.

The furnaces use a combination of forced air and natural gas to create the heat, lots of natural gas. Rick Wells: "What's your gas bill?" Diggdon: "$2,000 to $3,000 a month."

Sarah explains the process. "Like when you blow bubble gum, and you blow too hard and it pops open like that." Same thing can happen with glass, you have to be careful and she loves the process. "It's totally absorbing to take a blob like that and shape it into what ever shape is in my mind."

She started working with glass 8 years ago and has fallen in love with it and she built the studio to do her own work and to teach others how. "Cause I want everybody to blow glass."

The studio is The Gathering Place; it's located at 19 East Brady. There is a shop with glass pieces for sale and they offer classes to groups and individuals on how to do it. Once you learn you can rent the furnace time and create your own blown glass art.

For more information call them at 918-582-4527.