It’s like lava, but not.

For most of my life, I’ve had this bizarre desire that I know I can never fulfill.

I want to play with lava.

There’s something about the way it moves;  fluid, but thick, orange and molten. It gives me chills just thinking about it. There’s only one problem. 

It’s hot. Very hot. So hot your whole arm would burn off if you touched it.

So, lava’s out. I realized when I was five that touching lava cannot be on my list of things to do within the course of my life.

Unless I decide I’d like to make it the LAST thing on the list.

In any case, this past weekend I found the closest (moderately safe) alternative to playing with lava.

Molten glass. Doesn’t that just give you a quiver of excitement? Maybe not. Maybe that only works on me, and only because of the whole “unreasonable obsession with lava” thing. It’s not lava–it’s not molten rock, but it’s close! It’s molten! (And seriously, what other things can you say are “molten.” So it’s practically the same thing.)

In any case, this past weekend I was able to sit behind a propane torch, wearing wacko blue glasses no less, and melt glass into beads. I learned all sorts of new terms, like “mandle,” “bead release,” “gather,” “stringer,” “twistie.” Now I own things like mini propane tanks, glass rods, graphite paddles, and yes, the blue glasses.

But for me, the best part was being able to melt the tips of the glass rods, watch them get all orange and thick-liquid-ish, and twirl them in the flame.

Yep. I played with lava, and I only got burned once.

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