Heart of Glass - Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass is a West Virginia treasure that spans generations. Nothing symbolizes the state of West Virginia better or more beautifully than Blenko Glass. We will discuss current and former craftsmen and designers and how important it is that Blenko and West Virginia glass be appreciated and valued by the younger generation.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Glassblowing and Ice Cream

This post from our Glass Friend Tony Patti.

Local glass artist lends talents to Haagen Dazs
Hot art for a cool treat
By: Charley Crowson

BALTIMORE - This is one hot way to enjoy a cool summer treat. Glass blowing artist Tim Mcfadden is sweating over the blazing ovens in his Southeast Baltimore shop, creating hand shaped bowls and spoons for Haagen Dazs’ new flavors of Gelato.

“I've made a dozen of these, maybe two dozen for Haagen Dazs to use for promotional purposes,” McFadden said.

The company approached McFadden along with a musician, a clothing designer and a photographer, challenging them to use the gelato as inspiration in their respective mediums.
“It's founded on unique and creative new flavors and ingredients, not a run-of-the-mill product,” he said.

So McFadden designed this bowl, inspired by the vanilla bean and a recent trip he made to Italy.
“The striping pattern was inspired by old Venetian techniques,” he said. “Mine was based on a Venetian technique with a more modern gelato cone shape.”

Working with his volunteer apprentice, Barb Victor, McFadden took us through the process of firing, shaping, re-firing and detailing his bowl. “When we put our colors in there I always put a key on top, so I'll know what's what because once you heat them up, they all look the same.”

It’s a process he repeats as many as ten times for this piece, but other artworks, he says, can take much longer. “Some things take hours to heat, and you may have to do this hundred times.”

It’s difficult work that can only be made tougher during the approaching dog days of summer.

“When it's 95 (degrees) outside, it's probably 130, maybe 135 (degrees) in here,” he said.

It’s all done so we can enjoy some top shelf gelato with a little artistic flare. McFadden’s bowls will cost $65.

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