Northeast of Melbourne, we had a meeting of destiny in Healesville! Tim Bassett and Tali invited us to blow glass at their studio! Tim offered us a working deal – the studio was for all day use if we wished, and if we showed him anything new in how to work with glass that he’d not done before, he’d comp us. What a deal! Never having blown full days before, it was also a challenge. We had a tight schedule of glassblowing in the two days whilst in the high heat of summer!
Melbourne – around town
Healesville Glass Blowing Studio – to see Tim’s website, click on the link
Tim’s a successful glass artist (a rarity!) and his partner, Tali, keeps them both in the black! Tim shared with Chris the business and production aspects of glass blowing, while Chris got a chance to show off what he’d learned while at PALY with David Camner and Helen Lee, as well as with Public Glass’ artists (Guido Gerlitz, Chuck V, Dave Patchen, Herb Dang, Dean Palmer, Demi, and Manigeh to name a few)! The two days of blowing – even involving Amy and Jeannie and working with assistant Lucy, chasing pup Monet, and elusive cat, Claude – were hot sweaty stuff, but the climax was at the end of the day, when we’d jump into the “Cold Tub” (versus the California Hot Tub)! Ahhhhhhh, …. sigh::
At the end of the weekend, Tali put together some gourmet salads while Tim threw some sausages and steaks on the “barbie,” a couple bottles of wine later, some crusty onion bread, and we had a delightful dinner party in the studio, where it was warmer because the night temp turned itself WAY down! Thank goodness for the furnace. A very pleasant late night sharing stories, swapping tips on traveling, and general joking around.
Day One at HGBS
Healesville is a small vacation tourist town, somewhat similar to Sausalito, Napa, or Sonoma, but smaller. There are some vineyards and wineries for taste testing for free. Even a beer brewery with a delightful gourmet cafe! Still somewhat rustic, I expected to see some horses tied up outside along the street. The Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary is nearby and there are some scenic stops along the way. The drive back to Melbourne CBD takes about 45 minutes, even on the toll roads.
It was intense and HOT, but such a great two days! A few days after we finished our blow at Tim’s studio, he and Tali were scheduled to take off to Bali, Thailand and Vietnam for some R&R fun. They’ve been working on the business and studio in Healesville for over a year now, and are profitable enough (not outrageously so, but the key word here is, “enough”) to take a well-deserved break.
Day Two at HGBS
Tim and Chris hit it off so well, Tim offered to pay for Chris to come back and work together for one month. Whatever they made, Tim would make sure to sell, and send Chris the commission. Now, how great a partnership is that?
Aunt Leslie and Melbourne
Chris booked a seat on the Southern Rail’s Indian Pacific train, a 3-day, 2-night journey. Chris had taken off to catch his Indian Pacific train across the nullabor (treeless plains) to Perth on time, Amy and I stayed one more day to meet up with Aunt Leslie again! We brought Aunt Leslie to Tim and Tali’s studio to show her what we’d been doing the last two days. The heat almost knocked her out, poor dear. We whisked her off back to Doncaster, and air conditioning! Mark, Aunt Leslie’s oldest son who works at a mental hospital (very good with the patients and dedicated!) had a friend over, also named Amy, who hit it off with my Amy! The dip in the pool was refreshing, and revived a hot Amy Llewellyn! Dinner at a Malaysian restaurant with Aunt Leslie was delightful. With the record heat (40’s C / 100+F), we were all rather limp by the end of the day.
It was a warm farewell (bad pun intended!) from Aunt Leslie, Mark, Tim, Tali, Lucy, Monet and Claude and vice versa from us to them, as we headed to Adelaide. The weather forecast was HOT! for the next two days… in the 40s C (over 100 F)! Ah, and we thought temps in the 30s (80-90 F) were bad!