The Gaffer

The gaffer blows his glass with ease and elegance. He stands before the red-hot furnace and dips his blowpipe into the molten sand. He swings the pipe up and out. He is nimble on his feet, balanced in his shoulders. He walks toward the block, swinging the pipe end over end. His intent face is locked upon the glowing glass; the reflection of it shows yellow in his dark glasses. This is his dance. His whole body goes into the shaping.

After twirling the pipe, he lifts the end to his lips. His hands flash, and he blows through the hollow pipe. A whupt of sound– his thumb pops back over the end of the pipe. A bulb appears at the other end golden and transparent, glowing from within. His breath gives it life. 

The gaffer makes with his breath something most men cannot even dream of creating with their hands.

How Biblical.


This little gem is something I found in one of my old journals. I used to work in a glass gift shop and would occasionally be given the opportunity to go watch the glass-blowers work. It was quite fascinating. If you’re ever given the opportunity to watch gaffers work in person, it is a wonderful experience.

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