Getting in touch with my inner artist at Bethlehem’s Banana Factory
January 29th, 2010 posted by Kim Lilly
Although I’m a writer by training and currently a marketer by trade, I once was an artist – for about a half hour – thanks to the “Make Your Own” glassblowing classes at the Banana Factory in South Side Bethlehem.
With a degree in fine arts and nine years experience in glass art, my instructor, Beth Ann Ballek, certainly knew what she was doing and was very approachable. But I was still nervous because 1) I’m no artist and 2) there were three other people there – for some reason I thought this would be a solo venture.
Beth started by demonstrating everything that we would be doing to make our flowers. Then she said whoever’s birthday was closer to her’s would go first. That was me, but I get stage fright when I’m not confident in my ability to do something, so I elected to go second.
Instead of me trying to explain the entire process and butchering the terminology, I found this YouTube video to show you the process instead. The main difference between my experience and this video is that while Beth was there to help me make the prettiest $30 glass flower the world has ever seen, I had more hands-on experience.
Here’s another video that gives you a closer view of the actual pulling of the glass to create the flower. Again, I had assistance from Beth in doing this, but you get the idea.
This was a very positive experience for me, but I’m still no artist. However, I recently got the ArtsQuest e-newsletter and discovered that the next round of “Make Your Own” classes is coming up in two weeks and thought perhaps it might be time for me to give art another chance. Maybe make a paperweight to accompany my glass flower.
Have you tried out any of the Banana Factory’s art classes?