We played with glass this weekend, a deliberate attempt to learn something new.
You know I love to cook and bake, the problem is that I end up eating what I make. To preserve my waistline, I’ve been looking for creative outlets outside of my kitchen.
I found a place called Glassroots in Newark, NJ. In addition to offering classes in things like glass blowing, fusing, and bead making, their mission is to help underserved youth in both the arts and entrepreneurship.
Paul and I took their kiln-forming class on Sunday. I made three pieces, a serving dish and two bowls. They give you a flat piece of clear glass to start with and you cut and arrange your design on it. It’s then put into a kiln to fuse together. After it’s fused, they fire it again over a mold, and the glass “slumps”. In the picture that I included here you can see the first step of the dish I made. I posted pictures of the other pieces I made, along with the molds that will be “slumped” over, on my Facebook page. They will be firing everything this week and I should have the finished pieces by the end of the week. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.
Working with glass is completely new to me. Before I made any cuts on the colored glass, I tried cutting clear glass. It was a lot easier than I expected it to be. I then gathered a set of tools and set myself up to work.
That’s when I learned the following three things. Take a look and see how you can apply them to your life and business.
1. Make sure you’ve got the right tools. I settled down to work on my piece, took my glass cutter and made my first cut. It didn’t feel the same as the cut I had made on the clear glass and I ended up with a shard instead of a strip. I figured that working with colored glass was different than clear glass and besides, glass cutting was something I was completely new to. I couldn’t really expect a straight cut, could I?
After struggling for five minutes I found out that the glass cutting tool I was using was broken. As soon as I swapped it out I could make straight cuts. I assumed that I didn’t know what I was doing, I second guessed myself and not the tool.
Lesson learned – I did know what I was doing. I was second guessing myself instead of doing a quick check to make sure the equipment I was using was sound.
2. It’s not a competition. Paul and I went to Glassroots to play. We’re very different people. After a brief lesson, we were set loose to create. Paul took two panes of glass and made a series of very exact pieces. (Check out the pictures on Facebook to see what he made). I looked over to see what he was doing and felt a level of shame. My work was not nearly as good. It was simple. It was careless. Especially the mosaic ones. All I did there was gather up a bunch of randomly shaped glass shards.
Lesson learned – Do it your way. We went to Glassworks to have fun. Both of us had smiles on our faces the entire time. We created very different pieces. I know they will all be beautiful. My work won’t look like his, and his work won’t look like mine. And none of our work will look like anyone else’s.
3. Don’t let practicalities stop you. There were six of us in the class. Before we got started one woman told us that she wanted to take the wine and cheese class that Glassroots offered but couldn’t make it, then she opened up her bag, took out a bottle of champagne and poured herself a glass (it was 10 am). She makes a point of attending a creative class every month. She’s looking for ideas of what she’ll do once she retires.
Lesson learned: When you know what you want to do, do it. She made her own “wine and cheese” class and had a great time creating her work of art.
I’m curious to know how can you apply these three lessons to your business? Let me know by sharing your thoughts with me below.