Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sandwich Glass Museum

Some glass wares made in Sandwich

Sandwich, a town on the northwest side of Cape Cod, used to be a big producer of glass. The factory is no longer there, but the museum makes for a fascinating afternoon. The great thing about visiting in the off-season is that we had the place nearly to ourselves. The best part of the visit was the demonstration. A glassmaker does a demonstration every hour, and since we were the only ones there, we got a private show. Very informal, of course, with J (I feel bad that I don’t remember the young man’s name, but Chris and I both agree that it began with a J) telling us all about glass blowing and answering all our questions. He worked with the glass the entire time we talked, scooping molten glass from the furnace, blowing and twirling it to form a vase and a plate, coloring it, etc. A couple of women came in, looked, and kept going. What’s with that?! Why just look at finished glass piece when you can watch an artist actually make it? Anyway, we took up lots of J’s time, and we all enjoyed ourselves. What I especially loved was when he colored the glass plate he was making, melting bright glass pieces and swirling it onto the colorless glass of the piece itself. Unfortunately, it has to bake/cool overnight, so we didn’t see the finished piece. We did, however, go through the exhibits of glassmaking over the years, from all glass-blown to molded glass. Good thing this isn’t a seismically active area, because a lot of history would be lost if an earthquake destroyed all these displays.
The furnace they use for glass-blowing demonstrations

Shaping the molten glass

Spinning out a plate

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