Teresa and I took a base tour of a Glass Blowing Factory and the Noritake China Center. The tour started with our bus arriving at this glass craft shop an hour from the base.

Our good friend Rosario also was taking the tour, and it was great having her with us for the day!

This is the craftsman shop where they do glass wand and such work. The wands are of different colored glass, and you melt the tips to make things. I signed up to make glass beads.
This is the blowing area, where they taken globs of liquid glass and make bowls, glasses, etc.
Teresa and I enjoy the shop while waiting my turn to make art!
I decided to make a black bead with brilliant blue highlights. here I am heating up a wand of black glass.
The instructor looks over my shoulder as I work the glass onto a metal dowel.
I now spin the dowel with the glass and blue fragments around, mixing the colors, and making the shape of the bead I want.
While the bead cools, I now move to the furnace area. I decided to make a mug, with dark red and black colors at the base, with clear glass at the top.
A molten glob of glass, clear in color is adhered to the end of this hollow metal tube. It is then dipped into different colored glass shards.
The hot glass globbule picks up the cold colored glass fragments.

I now blow air gently into the globule of glass, expanding it and creating a hollow portion inside. The glass is extremely hot....over 2000 degrees.

Heating and blowing, the globule becomes elongated...

Metal tongs help shape the glass into the right shape.
Repeated heating and blowing help the mug take shape...
Metal tongs help press in on the glass to help form the mug.
Thick leather gloves and a half inch of wet newspaper help press in on the glass...
Wet wooden paddles make flat surfaces, such as the base of the mug.
The mug is flipped over to a new stick, and the mouth is now widened with some reverse tongs.
The mug is now looking like a mug! I wish I had put more color glass bits on it to make it darker tho. Oh well...next time! A handle is put on the mug with more molten glass, and it's done!
Now off to the Noritake Center. Sadly, it didn't offer a tour of them making the dishes. It was more of a set of show rooms and a resturaunt.
Teresa and I pose in front of the resturaunt logo!
There was a fair amount of Ghibli china....I like that!
Several different classes of showrooms. Some of the stuff was many many many thousands of dollars for a single piece.
Our baskets are made of weaving the strands together, and glueing the right spots.
First we make the base of the basket...
Then thread the sides from the bottom up.
We use clothespins to help hold things in place while it dries.
It was alot of fun...and it took two nights to finish our baskets!