Tripping About The Country-
Observations from the Road and Home.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
BIKING THE CANAL AND THE SANDWICH GLASS MUSEUM
We drove the Bronco to Sandwich to enter the bike trail at the visitors center. An early start, about 9:00. The bike path is smooth, paved, and flat. We had a brisk breeze and some shade along the canal. Beautiful.
We passed under the Sagamore Bridge winging our way. Every other light post, it seemed, had a cormorant posing for us.
Very accustomed to humans, the birds don't fly when you get close.
On the first leg of the journey, we saw many people out reel fishing. I stopped to take pictures of some flowers. I saw many of those I recognized from the film the day before.
I managed to get a rare photo of a cottontail. This one froze for just a few seconds and I got it.
Its 13 miles up and back, but an easy ride, even for someone as out of shape as we are. I haven't done much biking since my rotator cuff surgery last year and I was unsure if I could do it. But, it was a breeze. The trail is limited to walkers, inline skaters, and bikers. Everyone is considerate and we enjoyed our morning in the sunshine.
From a distance, we could see that the train bridge at Bourne was down to let a train by. We've seen it now from just about every angle.
The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was built in Sandwich Massachusetts because of its goodly supply of wood needed to fire the furnaces for glass making. Deming Jarvis eyed the place twenty years earlier but didn't get the money together to build his factory until 1825.
This young woman, one of five glass blowers at the Sandwich Glass Museum Cooperative, gave a demonstration of how the work is done. A very comprehensive demonstration. The glass is melted, rolled in additives that give it strength, color and clarity, then blown and shaped, heated again, shaped more by rolling the glass and patting and shaping it, with paddles and tongs, then adding more molten glass and repeating the procedure.
There is also a 21 minute film here, but skip it if you go. The exhibits throughout explain the history of the glass factory very well. Everyone walked out of the film.
Then you get to drool your way through 15 rooms with walls and walls full of glass, much of it in front of windows to play to the light. Gorgeous.
Jarvis made glass for many notables including a president or two. He had 500 employees at his factory at one time. Most of the items were made in the 1800's and you wouldn't necessarily recognize them, such as a ladies snuff bottle and fainting spirits bottle. Nor this gold fish bowl below.
This is beyond a doubt the greatest and most beautiful collection of Sandwich Glass, worth spending several hours to see it. Jarvis was the first glass blower to blow glass successfully into a mold. He describes the anger other glass blowers felt when he proved this could be done successfully. It gave him a business edge, mass production.
One room had modern art glass. (More on that later.) There are other glass artists shown in the museum, though most of the collection is Sandwich Glass.
The Sandwich Co-operative that operates along with the museum, sells work in the museum store. Here are a couple of pictures of Sandwich Co-operative Glasswork for sale: