Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Syrup and Glass

Monday we went on a jaunt to Garret County, Maryland, a place most people associate with Deep Creek Lake and skiing. But for us, it was time for our annual maple syrup shopping spree. We've found a farm that sells at prices that allow us to buy real maple syrup for less than anywhere else around. We bought more than 10 gallons!  Now, not all of those are for us; our parents and some church members asked us to pick up a few gallons for them, and we gladly obliged.

After we picked up the syrup, we were off to our field trip destination. Simon Pearce has a showroom and what they call a "manufacturing facility" in Mt. Lake Park, but that sounds too much like a factory. When I think of factory, I think of automated machines doing most of the work. That's not what's going on there.

First, you walk to the back of their showroom/store. Make sure you prepare your children NOT to touch anything while walking through the displays; hands must be in pockets at all times. All the beautiful glass creations do not sell cheaply; even the "seconds" are out of my price range.

Next you open the big gray double-doors, walk into the "manufacturing facility," go up onto the substantial catwalk, and be mesmerized by the glass blowers. We have been here several times, and the children love guessing what each blob of red-hot molten glass will become. This time we saw free-form platters, two kinds of vases, and a pitcher being made. Teams work together to form each component, constantly twirling the hot glass, re-heating, blowing and so on. While not made of metal, they do work like well-oiled machines, never seeming to miss a beat.

If ever you have the opportunity to go there (or any other glassblowing workshop), I highly recommend it. Enjoy looking at all of those beautiful and functional pieces of art. I do, and I plan on saving up for a special piece or two--but not until the children are grown and less clumsy!

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