Well, I'm inordinately proud of this, and it's thanks to Ingrid and Meg. Last weekend I went down to Edinburgh for Ingrid's glass blowing workshop at Edinburgh College of Art, and had a terrific time (though I suspect, from the photographs of the event, I kept this well hidden behind frowns of deep concentration!).
From cowering at the edge of the superhot furnace, we progressed over the course of the day (via some fine food and snacks) to make marbles, a bauble, a whisky glass (in my case gently squint to allow for free flow of the spirit, as I can vouch as I write), a coloured bowl and finally a paperweight. With Ingrid slapping our hands back if we put them in any danger, we were able to apply jacks, blocks, tweezers, pincers and even wet newspaper with courage and determination (if not exactly skill) to make our much prized objects, which then disappeared into the annealing (hope that's spelled correctly!) furnace to be finished for us.
The fact we achieved (the four of us, for the classes are kept small for safety and to avoid the boredom of watching endless people have their go before you do) such dizzying heights of glassmaking in one day only makes me more impressed by every blown glass object I now pick up - to achieve consistency, accuracy, the shape and colour you actually set out to achieve, using tools that go back centuries with strange names to match, takes such experience and artistry and skill that I can only stand in awe of Ingrid and Meg.
My coloured glass bowl with its signature squint.
Well, all I can say is that Murray will probably meet some glass blowers in the near future!
Here's Ingrid's lovely work, and here is Meg's - clever, clever people!