Aeroplan has partnered with Samba Days, “an innovative gift giving concept that offers a wide variety of themed activity packs which each contain several experiences.” They allowed me to try one of the redeemable activities and I chose a glass blowing lesson with Braden Hammond, which I write about below.
“Spin, spin, spin, droop, droop, let it drop, turn it away from you, release,” Braden instructs us. I’m trying to concentrate on his words while placing my tube of glass into my 3,000 degree Fahrenheit flame. It’s hot in here.
The clear glass melts slowly as I rotate the tube around, letting it almost fall before spinning it around to catch it again. It finally forms a small circular shape, so I take it out of the flame and prepare my next glass tube, this one with colour.
A group of 10 of us are in a non-descript studio on Clark Drive in Vancouver learning how to melt glass into beads. Our instructor, Braden Hammond, started in just this way nine years ago when he was down in Santa Cruz, California. He now creates gorgeous glass art and runs classes on Tuesday and Saturday evenings for those who want to learn glass blowing. They sell out fast.
After making almost 10 beads of my own and setting them gingerly in the kiln to set, Braden brings out some samples of creations he has made (and things we can make if we continue into the advanced classes). There is everything from glass balls with intricate flowers and other designs blown into the middle, to small perfume bottles.
When it comes time to take my beads out of the kiln, I notice how awkward they are, how varied their shapes and texture, and I look again at what Braden has created: my appreciation for glass art has gone through the roof. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a glass piece again without being in awe.
Beginner classes are held on Tuesdays from 7-9 pm at the Braden Hammond Glass studio on Clark Drive in Vancouver. 12,000 Aeroplan miles can be redeemed for this class by booking through the Aeroplan website.