|Look how tall and pretty it is now!|
|Compare this to the original bowl a few posts ago|
I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’ Zechariah 13:9 (NIV)
I heard from some of you, even a friend at church who stopped me before Sunday School, saying that I was too hard on the Holly Berry bowl. Honestly, I was not exaggerating how ugly it was. The picture just didn’t do it justice. I used a mold that had been sitting in the garage for nine months unused. During the hot and humid Florida summer, it must have gotten some water in it because as the mold heated, it released gas or steam that created bulges in the glass that really did look like warts. It was one ugly bowl. After I wrote that piece, I got the idea to reform it using a draping mold. A draping mold is a metal vase. It has to be metal because you can only use a ceramic mold to drop glass into. You can’t drop glass over it or the glass will adhere to the mold. But, the glass will slide right off of a properly treated metal mold so you can put the glass on top of it and let it sink over the form. I do not know why there is a difference. Ask someone smarter than me. I have two draping molds, but the only time I tried to use one, it was a mess. The glass stuck to the form and cracked. I tried to take a short cut in treating it and used a spray on kiln wash (a coating that keeps the glass from sticking to the mold). While in North Carolina, I learned that those kinds of sprays do not work. Instead, the mold must be heated with a blow torch, then painted with a liquid kiln wash, then heated. The technique must be done many times until the mold is completely covered. A few weeks ago, husband helped me treat the molds. He heated the metal, then I put the kiln wash, then he heated it again to dry it. We were at it about an hour and never really did think we had done a good enough job. Yesterday, figuring I had nothing to lose, I put the Holly Berry glass bowl on top of the draping mold and tried it out. When I opened the kiln this morning, I was delighted with the results. At last, my heirloom piece. It is a lovely wave of glass in a slender shape. It even dips a little lower in the front for some perspective. All that ugly bowl needed was a little more time in the kiln. Like those of you who defended the bowl, we sometimes think we are good enough the way we are. God wants us to be better, to be more like Him. And so, He takes us through the refiner’s fire once, twice, or maybe many times until we are shaped exactly as He would have us be. Then, we can live a legacy for many generations to come. Like the bowl, our ugliness turns into an heirloom.