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Artists in action

TH'AR SHE BLOWS. David Powers is making what eventually will be a bowl in his studio at CRMS which is a stop during the upcoming Art Walk. Here, he blows some air into the tube to make the hot glass expand into more of a bubble shape. (Jane Bachrach photo)
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CARBONDALE – If you want to see someone turn glowing molten sand into a lovely vase or tumbler, check out David Powers’ glass blowing studio located at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) during the fourth annual Roaring Fork Valley Studio Tour this weekend.Powers is just one of about 45 valley artists who will open up their studios to the general public Oct. 14 and 15 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to show what it takes to create art and to buy art directly from the artists.You can see sculptors, painters, weavers, potters, metal and wood workers, photographers and glassblowers as they turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.

The silent auction and studio tour map sale proceeds support the art education programs at the Aspen and Carbondale Community Schools. The event also provides exposure to local artists and an opportunity for them to showcase their talent and educate visitors about their craft, said parent PR person Courtney Kleager, who added that the event raised about $30,000 last year for the schools.Powers used to be a full-time teacher at CRMS teaching blacksmithing, ceramics and kayaking. Then he started blowing glass, an art form that takes the heat of blacksmithing, the centering and sculpting of ceramics and even the paddle handling of kayaking and puts them all together into something that is more delicate and precise than any of them.”I knew I wanted to blow glass since I was a little kid and I visited Murano, Italy,” said Powers of one of the glass blowing centers of the world. “I feel very, very lucky to be able to blow glass. You take a material, sand, that is what a lot of the earth is made of, and turn it into liquid and then into something of value.”

The flaming contraption that heats up the molten glass to about 2,000 degrees is called a glory hole. The machines have a hole in the front showing off the glowing orange heat inside.They were named after the gold prospectors who dug holes in the ground,” said Powers. “When they saw all that sparking gold staring up at them, they called it a glory hole.” Just like blacksmithing, when you heat something up in the glory hole, you’ve got to know what you’re going to do with it.



“This is one of the more popular stops (on the studio tour). It’s interesting to watch somebody paint, but it’s pretty dramatic to see glass transform from sand, silica, into a cup or a vase.”The studio tour artists reception and silent auction with works from all participating artists will be from 6-9 p.m. today at the River Valley Ranch sales barn. The studio tour guide serves as admission to the reception.Residents are encouraged to purchase a map and create their own art adventure. Studio tour maps are available for $15. For map purchase locations and more information, call 923-4646 or visit http://www.roaringforkvalleystudio tour.net.


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