Somewhere in the middle of college I found myself inundated by all these heavy ideas and advancing technological topics. At times, it felt as though I needed skills that went further, skills that could combine intellect with tangibility. I wanted to create objects that went beyond words and computer screens.

Daydreaming, I envisioned a Maker’s University where you learn to create and construct any damned thing your mind can conjure. Wooden clock made from a ship porthole? Sure! We can show you how to make that. A system of weight shifting bookshelves on pulleys? Most definitely. Lava Lamps in the shape of infinity symbols? Why not! It’d be like home-ec., wood and metal shop on steroids.

I showed up really late to the Pinterest game (and still don’t get it?), and my subscription to Instructables was running out. In order to satiate this appetite to physically create something, I enrolled in an Intro to Glass class at Tyler School of Art during my junior year. We surveyed various glass making techniques including mold-making, glass casting, flameworking, and glass blowing.

Standing in front of a blazingly hot furnace and dipping into that glass for the first time was one of the scariest and most exhilarating moments I’ve experienced in a classroom. Furthermore, it was an amazingly collaborative process, and one where the importance of attentiveness and teamwork could not be understated. With the help of my classmates I produced several pieces, including a small drinking glass. As wonky as my little glass turned out, it is definitely not a failure. The challenge of working with such a dynamic medium gave me an even greater appreciation for the craft; and this is how I feel about arts and crafting overall – that attempting something, even when success isn’t guaranteed, will only lead to a positive appreciation of what it takes to actually make it.

Don Iannone Photography
It’s only like 2000°F in there, no big deal…

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