Job swap: glass blowing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Job swap: glass blowing

Mark Mitsuda / Jason Tang Mark Mitsuda / Jason Tang

HONOLULU (KHNL) - It's a job where thick skin is a requirement.

not because people are criticizing you, it's because you're dealing with temperatures upwards of two thousand degrees farenheit.

In this edition of Job Swap, Punahou glass blowing teacher Mark Mitsuda is teaching me how to make a simple drinking glass.

"A good analogy would be ceramics, you can only work ceramics when it's wet, you're going to use heat as your water basically," said Mitsuda.

First the master begins with an example. With skilled hands, he blows, shapes, and crafts what quickly resembles a glass, and he does it all in less than 20 minutes. after witnessing his expertise, one thing seems obvious to me.

"My glass is going to be ugly, I can already tell, my predication, my glass is ugly," I said.

It definitely wasn't a good start, as I barely pull any glass on my first dip.

"I think this is going to be a shot glass, forget the big cup," I said.

After completing the first layer, and adding a little color, it's time to get my first evaluation.

"So far how would you grade in your class?" I asked.

"You're a pro," responded Mitsuda.

"Well, a letter grade," I said.

"Maybe a B," said Mitsuda.

"Oh man, I'm not even an A yet," I said.

Mark's grading is generous. especially since i pretty much fail my next task, blowing a bubble into the glass.

"I don't think we got any air in their Mark, I think I just dropped to a C student," I said.

Eventually, success! Even though the bubble is small. It doesn't look like much, but Mark is optimistic we can make it work. He likens the experience of glass blowing to a routine activity.

"It's kind of like driving a clutch car, you gotta do two things at once, you got to do the clutch and the gas pedal at once," said Mark.

With patience and a lot of help from Mark, a glass is starting to form, although it's pretty obvious, it's my first time.

"You sure we're not making a baby food jar here?" I said after examining my progress.

After smoothing the sides, and flattening the bottom, it's time to make an opening at the top.

"Oh look, you're a natural," praised Mark.

Unfortunately, my glass looks anything but natural.

"It's kind of like a small peanut shape," said Mark after a closer look.

But don't grade my glass just yet, wait till you see the finished product.

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