Onlookers ‘blown away’ by Marion glass blowing demonstration
MARION — With a 5,000 degree flame and a twist of her wrist, glass artist Kim Savoie turned a glass tube into a paper-thin bubble within seconds.
During a demonstration of glass-blowing techniques held outside of the Elizabeth Taber Library — and well away from any flammable structures — on Saturday, Oct. 22, Savoie showed onlookers the art and science behind glass working.
Savoie, who studied glass and photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, has made glass working her full time job.
“That’s why I’m working on a Saturday, baby,” said Savoie, who along with giving demonstrations, sells her work at craft fairs and online.
She also spent three years working and teaching at the Corning Museum of Glass, and helped Pairpoint Glass Company open a glassblowing school, she said.
According to Savoie, she has even auditioned for the Netflix reality show “Blown Away,” which pits glass artists against each other in a reality-television style competition.
“I have applied for every single season and I was interviewed for two out of three,” she said. “I felt really good about my interview — I think it was one of the best interviews I ever had.”
Savoie added that during the interview she had with “Blown Away’s” casting directors, they tried to “pull adversity from [her] and make a story out of [her] life.”
She added that the person chosen in her place, “had a lot more going on.”
According to Savioe, glass working “is all about keeping control of the material.”
She explained that when melting glass, as long as it keeps moving, it will “ball up evenly,” which allows her to stay in control.
Much of her work is done out of a studio in Westport and at a public glass school in Boston, where she rents space and can work on larger pieces that require a furnace.
But Savoie is unsatisfied with the lack of public glassworking studios in the South Coast.
In February, she started a Kickstarter project for “Celadon Glass Studio,” a proposed glassworking studio that would provide classes and studio space for glass artists.
According to Savoie, she is still in the planning stages of the project, and is looking for locations in New Bedford.
She said that a free-standing building with poured concrete floors is essential “to make the fire department as happy as possible.”
Saturday’s demonstration used a small blow torch that burned a combination of oxygen and propane, which is less of a fire hazard than the furnaces in full-fledged studios.
At the request of two Marion residents, she made a small cube out of clear glass.
“That was fun, I’ve never done that before,” said Savoie. “It’s not a perfect cube, but it looks like a little ice cube, I would say.”