We wake up and are mooring in Skagway.
On the other side of the ship, the forklifts hustle around to move the large, aluminum gang planks so we can disembark.
As we leave, we are handed some "goodies". It's jewelry store after jewelry store coupons and nothing else!
Trying to find the right coach to take us to glass-blowing. As you can see, there's our ship and another one moored on the same VERY long pier.
Across the cove is the Mercury, the Millenium's little sister. She is 100' shorter than the Millenium. Also, I just read she is being retired in 2011.
A very short ginger girl/tour-guide. Could not resist taking a picture.
We get to the glass-blowing foundry and are shown color and pattern examples of the ball-shaped specimen we will make during our demo and class.
The teacher is very good and gives us a demo of what we will do, before he has each of us come up individually and assist him in making one for each of us.
Priya suits up.
The basic tools for glass-blowing. They are used in ways you might not expect.
Rolling the molten glass in two different colors of glass shard.
He then has to melt the shards as well, so it goes back into the kiln.
flattening out the sides and smearing the colors into a swirl.
He actually snips off the tip, so the top of the ball will have a spiral pattern meeting in the center.
using the pipe to further swirl the colors. and shape it.
The assistant blows on the pipe.
The ball starts to grow.
These tweezers allow him to pinch down the end, but the air hole is still in the very middle providing inflation.
Starting a new one with a fellow class-mate. The foundry where the glass comes from is called the "Glory Hole".
Inside the Glory Hole.
Fresh molten glass, white hot.
Already cooled to orange, as he rolls it to get a bottom edge.
Dipping it into Priya's chosen colors.
Flattening the sides. The darker it gets, the cooler it is.
Priya is allowed to turn the blob as it re-heats. This is NOT easy. It always feels like a huge ball of bread dough, about to flop off the end and fall into the fire.
rolling it to add some swirl and get the flat sides back.
Priya's design calls for a spiral at the top.
It has already cooled down to red hot, so it needs to be re-heated yet again.
Rolled in some torn pieces of gold-leaf.
Ready to make it into a ball.
It looks very dark, but that's just the molten glass cooling.
making a circular base for it.
flattening the blob into a base.
My turn at the Glory Hole.
At this point it feels like I am losing it. He ends up saving me to keep it from flopping off.