SEDONA, Ariz. - The technique of glassblowing has been used for thousands of years, and one spot in Sedona is helping people make their own handcrafted glass art.
Nestled in the beauty of Sedona's landscape is The Melting Point, where people can make their own beautifully crafted creation.
"There's no material that I can think of that moves quite like it does, that has this range of possibility that glass does," said Jordan Ford, General Manager of the Melting Point.
Ford has been perfecting his glassblowing skills for several years.
"It's one of the more versatile materials I've ever encountered," said Ford. "It's fluid, it's dynamic, it's inherently really strong."
Ford now teaches others how to do the same with classes in the hot shop, which is complete with all the red-hot liquid glass, tools and supplies needed to create items for both practical and decretive use.
"We're taking glass in its hot or liquid state. I think it's comparable to a soft honey. We gather it on the end of these steel blowpipes and sequentially build our mass to create volume, and then it's a matter of shaping it into any object you can imagine," said Ford. "We use a number of hand tools, both wooden, metal, graphite. Each one gives us a slightly different approach or use for the material. We also use a lot of gravity and other physical forces. Occasionally, we use centrifugal force to spread something out or spin it out to a plate."
There's no experience necessary.
Kali Gajewski (left) and Mac Crawford (right)
Kali Gajewski and Mac Crawford, who own Sedona Beer Company, are both beginners. They came to The Melting Point to get some help with design features for their brewery from the experts.
"They ended up making our pendant lighting that hangs above our bars, and from there, we ended up coming to them with project ideas and said hey can you do this," said Gajewski.
Ford and his crew made custom tap handles, member glasses, and anniversary glasses for the bar. On one particular day, Gajewski and Crawford were getting in on the action for the first time to make pint glasses.
"I really do like that transfer point, that moment when you have to switch the glass off the one pole to another because it feels like a very delicate point," said Gajewski.
"You can appreciate like having seen it go through the process, but to really participate in what it's meant to be and see it at the endpoint, knowing that it came from a bucket of sand before then," said Crawford.
When one looks at a finished glass project, it may be hard to believe it was once a molten blob on the end of a blowpipe that was inflated, molded, swirled, cut and twisted into just about anything, but believe it, because with a little skill, patience, and creativity, people can be blown away with what they can forge.
Classes at The Melting Point range from $65 up to $200, and the creation can be taken home.