By Sarah Gilbert, Hot Shop Technician
For the last several years Museum of Glass has been lucky enough to be a part of Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest in Chico, California. This huge celebration of malty refreshments brings in over 6,000 people every year. We are invited to bring our Mobile Hot Shop down as part of the entertainment. We work together with the great Jeff Lindsay of Cutting Edge Tools to organize local glassblowers from the area to all come together and make their wares. Jeff also organizes a live auction during the event where people can bid on items by the Oktoberfest attendees while the items are being made. All of the proceeds from this auction go to a local non-profit. It is a great way to keep the people watching and to give back to the community.
For the last two years my wife and I have driven the big Mobile Hot Shop truck down to Chico. Our truck is 30 feet long with a capacity to carry 16 tons! In the truck we carry a Furnace, two glory holes, a garage, work benches, marvers, and everything else you might need to blow glass…just about anywhere.
Becca Chernow and Rich Langley were the artists that we would be collaborating with during our trip. Two days prior to the event, we met with them to off load all the equipment and get it hot in time for everyone to work. We also got a great tour of the brewery while we were down there. If you are a fan of Sierra Nevada you might recognize the labels- they are already making their holiday brew- “Celebration” beer in October!
It is always a pleasure to make it down to Chico and be a part of this event! I look forward to many more years of good times in Chico!