Friday, April 20, 2012

 We’re on one of two ships in the entire Celebrity fleet where they have a glass-blowing show on board.  (The other ship is the Equinox.)  It’s a skill I’d never really appreciated, and prior to seeing it back on the Equinox my only previous exposure was watching a super-boring mini documentary on TVO about it, back one hundred and eighty years ago when I was still a kid.  Having seen it live twice now, let me assure you that it’s an astounding thing to see.  The folks who do the Hot Glass Show are from the Corning Institute, and they’re beyond skilled.  And in addition to putting on two live shows a day, the artists here also take turns describing what their colleagues are doing, and they also field random questions from the highly random cruisers.  So you can’t just be talented with blowing and sculpting glass, you’ve also got to be interesting and quick on your feet.  The very fact that they put these shows on, in the middle of the ocean, with two thousand degree ovens blaring away, is supercool and worth mentioning.  Even cooler…

In cooperation with the kids’ club, once a cruise the Hot Glass Show does a ‘you draw it, we make it’ event.  They get all of the members of the kids’ club to draw something.  Anything.  A monster truck, or Saturn, or Super Mario, or a fart – whatever.   Then the glass blowers pick two or three of their favourites, create it at the show, and those lucky kids get to take sculptures home as a souvenir.  Cooler still…

There are exactly nine kids on board this cruise.  (Transatlantics aren’t generally kid-filled trips.)  There’s a sixteen year-old, eleven and nine year-old brothers (who don’t go to the kids’ club at all), three year-old Teddy, and then Veronica and a bunch of other wee ones all under two.  So there were so few kids in general, and an even smaller group that could wield a crayon, that the hot glass folks basically said anyone who submits a drawing will have a piece made for them.  So, so, so amazing.  With a great deal of assistance, Teddy drew Thomas the Tank Engine.  And with absolutely zero percent of her own participation, Veronica drew a purple cat.  And then we sat and watched these incredibly talented folks make glass sculptures from the drawings.  I’m in no rush for Teddy to grow up generally, but for the length of that show I wished so badly that he was four or five, just a bit older so he’d appreciate what was going on and how lucky he was.  I mean, he had fun, but he didn’t really understand it fully.  They started with the sixteen year-old’s drawing (of the earth), then did an awesome Thomas for Teddy, and by that point it was an hour and a half of sitting still, so the kids were just done and we had to split.  We missed them making Veronica’s cat (and still haven’t really seen it), but I’m sure it’s incredible.  Seriously: coolest day ever.

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