American expat John and his international crew of glass-blowers dazzle at their Friday Night Live event. They have a big warehouse-type studio off a residential street in the north of the city. By day this is their workshop but I think it’s a great idea that – come Friday night – they let anyone watch while they spin, carve, shape (I’m pretty sure none of these are the right technical terms by the way) & put on all kinds of hats and gloves to protect themselves from the glowing creations.
I think they’ve done a great job in making something quite niche accessible to anyone. There’s a small bar area (where the beer is served in glasses made in house), and even a terrace where they project a live webcam of the action so that nobody misses out. The bar area also has a collection of weird and wonderful glass ornaments and statues on display that you can buy, or just get frightened by the price tags – don’t bring any clumsy friends!
I like the fact that they also play some great tunes while they work so that it really feels like a party atmosphere. It’s just really hard not to find the whole thing pretty tense – when I’ve watched someone sculpting a vase for nearly an hour and then it breaks at the last minute, I can’t help but feel their pain.
And it would be wrong not to mention John’s friendly little dog Kaiser who sometimes (ok, often) steals the show.