The Winter Fiery Arts Sale featured an atypical demonstration involving a glass teapot simmering at 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit being thrown through the air to a student wearing a heat-shielded apron and gloves. The teapot was then rushed to the cooling station where it unfortunately shattered, spilling sharp glass shards across the floor.
The sale, which funds the $50,000 glassblowing program at Palo Alto High School, ran on Dec. 2 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Over 200 hand-blown glass pieces were displayed in the Tower Building ranging from $5 to $200 dollars.
Community members were also invited to watch a glassblowing demonstration which featured seniors Ben Beaudry and Jeremy Rosenbaum making, and occasionally breaking, intricate glass cups, goblets, teapots and vases.
“The demonstration is held every year, and I’m super happy to be participating. People can come watch and ask us questions about the program.”
Ben Beaudry, Paly senior
Unlike traditional art forms, glassblowing takes mere minutes to complete. A cup was completed in five minutes, and Beaudry’s goblet was placed in the cooling station within the hour.
In addition to providing funds for the glassblowing program, the sale also showed off student work, and allowed them to make some money.
“Students can put their work into the glass sale, and receive whatever profit they make from it,” Beaudry said. “Alternatively, they can donate the money they make back to the school and help out the program.”
The glassblowing instructors also created advanced work for the sale, which made for a diverse selection of glass pieces. A special Christmas themed section of the glass arts sale featured glass snowmen, pine trees, reindeer and candy canes.
The Winter and Fall Fiery Arts Sales are a major source of funding for Paly’s glassblowing program. Only four programs exist across the entire United States due to the exorbitant cost. For the fortunate students in Paly’s program, glassblowing provides a unique form of expression through its dangerous process.
“Glass blowing is a really great way to express yourself because you can make whatever you want,” Beaudry said. “There are no limits as long as you set your mind to it.