Parker County Today September 2017 - Page 34

and you’d go and literally dunk your head in the trough — you were just overheated; I mean it was so hot!” She also sought to grow into her glass-self at a work- shop at Pilchuck Glass School, nestled in the tranquil folds of the Cascade Mountain foothills near Stanwood, WA. “You can go and do a residency, take a two-week course, or however long. The classes are hard to get into, you have to apply to be accepted,” said Gracie. “Dale Chihuly founded the school [1971]. Pilchuck and Penland are both really well-known within the glass industry … .” Chuckling, Peck said she has made so many cups, glasses and bowls that she fears she is driving her mother to distraction — here a cup, there a cup, everywhere a cup cup — adding, “But I’ll be starting some flowers and pumpkins, etc., for Halloween.” Seriously, lately she has been working on wine glasses and decanters. Asked how long it takes to become proficient at glass- blowing, she took a deep breath, tried to figure out the best way to express something just shy of “forever.” “I wanna say it takes your entire life,” she said, her laugh trailing off into contemplation. “It takes so much practice; it literally takes your whole life of practicing. Even the ones we call ‘maestros,’ the ones who do blow glass every day and are making a huge living out of it, half of them wouldn’t even call themselves glassblowers. I don’t know, being humble or something.” Pressed, Peck said it probably takes a couple of years 32 created in the middle of the 1st century BC, glassblowing exploited a working property of glass that was previously unknown to glassworkers, inflation, the expansion of a molten blob of glass by introducing a small amount of air to it (using a long metal tube or pipe). That is based on the liquid structure of glass where the atoms are held together by strong chemical bonds in a disordered and random network,[1][2][3] therefore molten glass is viscous enough to be blown and gradually hardens as it loses heat.” “It is by no means easy,” Peck said. “These glassblow- ers are so cool, because they make it look so easy, and once you get out there and try it you’re like: ‘Oh, my goodness, what am I doing?’ It’s an art. You’ve either got it or you don’t. [But] I do encourage anyone to try it, because it’s so different … unlike any other medium that we have.” Peck graduated from Peaster High School in 2010, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi in 2016. She feeds her passion for glass by attending workshops or schools, one being Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.  “They were kind of the beginning of the whole glass- blowing movement within the United States; and Harvey Littleton, he’s the one who kinda started Pyrex, him and his crew there — anyway, Penland is the school where they started all that,” she said, adding, “I went there, and, oh, it was so hot! It was around Fourth of July and it got to, I think I wanna say, like between 120°-130° in that hot shop (facility with furnaces, etc.), because we had all the furnaces on. There was a water trough in the back