Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Getting Hot in Here

Have you ever been to a glass blowing shop or demonstration? Like at Disney Land or Gatlinburg or Branson? Seeing both the artist manipulating molten slime and the sparkling figurines it becomes, Cinderella carriages and perching hummingbirds and frolicking dolphins, fascinates me.

They even make images of people in specific settings. I’m in awe at facial expressions, so lifelike. How’d they do that with this medium?

The process is amazing – so detailed and precise. To turn that glob into anything besides the glob takes skill, patience, imagination, heat and tools to bend and stretch and form.

Watch this short demonstration video of an artist in Townsend (near Gatlinburg) explaining glass blowing a human face.

Guess what? Yep, it got me thinking.

In the video, the artist said the face, what the “person” will look like, is the most difficult.

The artist has an intended setting or goal for that particular piece, and forming the expression to meet that intention takes a great deal of care. Also, the fire never stops throughout the process of forming. The relentless blowtorch blasted the emerging face of that little figurine the entire demonstration. Several tools were used to shape the face too, ones that looked like they’d hurt if the face actually had feelings. But used with the skilled touch of the master, the results were amazing. No detail was left undone… eyebrows, nostrils, ear lobes, hair… just when I’d think – it’s done! – the artist would continue with another essential part of a face.

The artist also said the mouth was by far the hardest part to make right.

Are you seeing what I’m seeing?

Life is like a blowtorch constantly in our face. But all that comes at us is in the hands of the Master, Who had to give us His breath to get started in the first place. He’s shaping us into what we will look like – hopefully, Him! He’s got an intended setting for us and knows exactly what our expressions should look like. Along with the heat, He uses other tools to form us, and usually those tools hurt. Just when you think you’ve learned enough, He adds another feature without which you would be incomplete. Often, the mouth is the hardest part to make right.

If we resist the fire, if we cool beyond a certain temperature and are un-malleable, then He can’t form the expression for His intentions. If the expression doesn’t work out, then the piece doesn’t end up at its highest potential.

Good thing about glass blowing… do-overs are possible.

At any point and time, we can become malleable to God’s mastery in our lives… but it requires the heat.

Why would we want to? I mean, the heat hurts. It’s relentless. There’s no breather. It’s not fun and it is tough to deal with.

Well, look at the results.

Blown glass figurines are beautiful. They glimmer and shine. They reflect Light. They are masterpieces, treasures.

You make the comparison. J

For my loved ones facing the flames, I’m praying for you! Hang in there. Your endurance will be worth it. Check out this story about a few guys you might have heard of – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3, who faced the flames, endured, and were promoted! I might just elaborate on them next week. They have so much to teach us through their example of faith.

Happy Friday, my fellow treasures. Have a great weekend!

(photos by


Susanne Dietze said...

Lori, this was awesome. Thanks so much. Hope you have a great weekend.

KM Wilsher said...

Hee hee. . .sounds like some of our "conversations" lately. . . only more poetic :0)

I had a chance to do an apprenticeship as a glass blower. I wish I had done it.

Know I am there praying for you under the blow torch too :0)

Have a great weekend!