Monday, September 5, 2011

Glasbläserei (Glassblowing)

"die Hyäne"
Happy Labor Day to my fellow Americans!  Labor Day isn't celebrated in Austria, but the roommates and I spent the day doing some other activities.  Courtney, Jessica, and I had the day off from hockey so we planned on visiting our "sponsor" family.  The family basically offers to pay for our expenses here in Austria and helps support overseas players.  Our manager, Margret, picked us up at our apartment since we didn't have our car yet.  She drove us to the family's house in Neuberg an der Mürz.  As we pulled in the driveway, the family's dog, which Margret said looks like a hyena, greeted us with a wagging tail and barking mouth.  The mother of the family had been biking on the mountain at the time we arrived.  Unfortunately, bad weather forced her to stay in a cabin on the mountain until the rain subsided, so we were unable to meet her.  Perhaps another day.  

When raindrops began falling from the dark gray sky, Margret decided to take us to Kaiserhof Glasmanufaktur, which is a hot-glass studio focused on the creation and display of contemporary glass art using a technique called glasbläserei (glassblowing).  Glassblowing is a glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble, or parison, with the aid of a blowpipe, or blow tube.  Courtney, Jessica, and I admired the glassblower from a far, as we had no idea that we would actually be trying the technique for ourselves.  We each made our own hand-blown glass watering bulb, used to self-water plants.  In the United States, they are also known as "Aqua Globes."  We chose the colors we wanted our bulbs to be.  The glassblower blended the colors into the molten glass and formed the glass into a raindrop shape.  Then, he handed the blowpipe over to us, and we each blew into it to form a bubble at the end.  We let our bulbs dry and within a few minutes, we were able to take them with us.
The rain continued to pour as we left Kaiserhof Glasmanufaktur, so we ventured to a café next door until the storm passed over.  Margret and I each had a Caffè Latte while Courtney and Jessica ordered "Cola," as they call it in Austria.  We finished our drinks and by that time, the rain had died down.  Margret drove us home.  I cooked homemade chili for my roommates for dinner.  We ended the night enjoying our meal with some bottles of beer.   

bis morgen!


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