Day 8: Crystal, Glen Campbell, and My Next Career as a Glass Blower

It was nice to not have to set an alarm until 8am! We didn’t have to be on the road until 9:30 as we headed south. Since I got such a great night’s sleep I was able to work on the previous day’s blog which I hadn’t been able to do the night before (I was falling asleep as I was writing it!) and work a little on my paper and presentation with Allison.

The day really was one of driving to different little crystal and glass factories. The very first place had someone actually blowing the glass and we got to see a product completed from start to finish. Surprisingly, the specialized tools used were especially interesting to me. The gentleman working had so many tools for cutting, shaping, smoothing, rounding, etc.! I would not have thought that it was such a specialized process! I admit that I bought some things at a few of the gift shops (Xmas presents for many have been bought!) but not nearly as much as I had budgeted or expected. Woo hoo self-control! There was one piece in particular that I just kept eyeing – and its price tag – but in the end just couldn’t do it. 1) I’d never have heard the end of it from Ben, 2) I think his response just might have been “I hate that”, and 3) It was the sort of piece that you would had to have designed an entire room around. Too many variables and there was a bus load of people waiting. Though I was able to get the web address of one place – I may help contribute to the global ecommerce supply chain once I’m back in the states. OR there may be some new pieces added to the wedding registry! Smilie: :-)

The night ended at the Kosta Hyttsill Glasscenter. At the Kosta glass factory, this was an evening meal in traditional of a Swedish glassblower. According to our hosts, in the cold dark of winter, after the blowers had checked on their families and homes, they would go back to the factories and sit around and socialize where they would make herring and potatoes because both were easy to cook. I can say that, though my taste for herring has NOT changed, it does taste much better with a good helping of lingonberries on top. J Sadly (or happily??) I am now +2 days since my last meal of meatballs. Is it possible to go into meatball withdrawal?

Afterward dinner someone gave an excellent demonstration on glassblowing by making a gorgeous blue and white plate. Afterwards he asked for volunteers and, after the initial rush, I volunteered. According to him, I have an excellent blowing technique. This was followed by dessert and a great band made up of the workers at the factory. Any night I hear Rhinestone Cowboy – especially on vaca in Sweden – is a great night in my book. Afterwards it was a quite drive back to the hotel where I was able to finish my blog from yesterday (I was too tired last night to finish) and to finish this one. I may go for a quick walk around the town square but then I think it’s going to be an earlier evening for me than the past couple of nights. We have what I hope is an interesting day ahead of us tomorrow. It’s another “free” day but Dr. Hoopes has arranged for a variety of outdoor activities at an outdoor wilderness area that we’re told ranges from hiking to kayaking to ax throwing. I will leave you, my dear readers, to guess which one I am most excited about participating in.

Blowing the glass

Blowing the glass – courtesy of Cathy

Finished Product: I might have a new career!

Finished Product: I might have a new career! – courtesy of Allison

"Artistic" Shot

“Artistic” Shot – courtesy of Allison

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