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Recent Sightings Recent sightings: Creating Madison’s largest glass ornament

December 12, 2014

The glass artists known as Mad Gaffers are going festive with a series of holiday events at the UW Glass Lab in the Art Lofts.

Throughout the weekend, participants can observe glassblowing, create glass ornaments of their own and and shop for gifts at the club’s annual Holiday Sale. Thursday night’s event, the “Winter Wonderland Performance,” saw the Mad Gaffers blow the largest glass ornament in Madison and auction it off for charity. The proceeds will support a glass program for Madison’s local chapter of Girls Inc. (Photos by Bryce Richter.) 

Photo: Mad Gaffers presentation

Tyler Gordon gives spectators a close-up view of a glass gather that will form a giant ornament during the “Winter Wonderland Performance” Glass Lab event in UW–Madison’s Art Lofts Building. The public event featured students from the UW Mad Gaffers team performing a number of interesting glass experiments and working together to create a giant Christmas ornament that was auctioned off for charity.

Photo: Mad Gaffers carrying a glass ornament

Joey Zeller (left) and Suzy Peterson (right) help Heather Sutherland (center) carry a heavy gather of glass that will be blown into Madison’s largest glass ornament.

Photo: Mad Gaffers shaping a glass ornament

Heather Sutherland (left) shapes a large gather of glass with assistance from Tyler Gordon (center) and Mary Thao (right).

Photo: Mad Gaffers inflating a glass ornament

From left to right: Joey Zeller, Assistant Professor Helen Lee, Suzy Peterson, and Heather Sutherland work to inflate the glass ornament.

Photo: John Hallett loading a class ornament into a kiln

Wearing a protective suit, John Hallett loads the ornament into a kiln to cool slowly overnight.

Weekend schedule: 

Gaffer Gala

Friday, Dec. 12, 7-9:30 p.m.

Join Mad Gaffers for an evening of collaboration. Four designs from Art Department members will be chosen and created in the hotshop, accompanied by live music from Glass Lab alumni Leopard Hound.

Blow Your Own!

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Experience glassblowing under the guidance of a Mad Gaffer, choosing your own colors and inflating your very own unique glass ornament. The event is $40 and on a first-come, first-served basis (ages 13 and up only).

Holiday Sale

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-1410 a.m.-6 p.m.

Need a special gift? Something one-of-a-kind? Come support Mad Gaffers, Mad Metals, Clay Collective, Hot Press, and many others at the Mad Gaffers’ Holiday Sale.

All events at the UW Glass Lab, Art Lofts, 111 N. Frances St.