|Glass Blowers take their art to the Rushmore Mall|
|Monday, 10 December 2012 15:39|
After 18 consecutive years at the Rushmore Mall and then being absent for nearly a decade, Black Hills Glass Blowers has returned to show off their skills in a public setting. Company co-founder Pete Hopkins says the mall called him a few days prior to Black Friday to see if he was interested in a comeback, and he says he couldn't resist.
Hopkins says, "It was almost like a personal challenge in a way, like can I pull this off? I guess the money never hurts and I was curious to see what the mall was like because it's been so long."
Hopkins says it feels good to be back in a public setting after all these years. He says the environment inside the mall is unique and allows him to work easier because the climate is regulated.
Hopkins says, "It's a controlled atmosphere so there's no wind blowing the torch around. It's not really cold or really hot. My shop is screaming hot in the summer time; it's kind of tough to work in there actually."
And as Hopkins sits here blowing and crafting his glass figurines, he says crowds of mall patrons often gather around the kiosk to watch him practice his craft and engage him in conversation.
Hopkins says, "The traffic has been good and indeed we've had them mobbed around us. Monday morning there's not too many people but that's a good time to do this because Sunday afternoon would not have been a good time to do this."
Hopkins says that like a moth to a flame, folks will migrate towards the kiosk when they see the bright light illuminating from his torch, burning at 2,000 degrees, but he says you shouldn't stare at the flame unless you're wearing special glasses like his.
Hopkins says, "The glasses I'm wearing are called didymium and they cut that yellow glare that you're seeing right there, which you only get when you mix oxygen and propane together."
Black Hills Glass Blowers will be lighting their fire at the Rushmore Mall through the holidays. You can typically find them surrounded by a few spectators.