Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

More on Louisville, June 17 Glassworks and Churchill Downs

I think glass making and glass blowing is fascinating and Louisville has a world famous glass studio called Glassworks.  Tours are offered along with viewing of the artists.  But this is more than just a glass studio turning out works of art, its owner Ken vonRoenn  wanted to use more glass in architecture and the studio explores that concept also concept.

The building is also promoting the downtown concept of living quarters above businesses.

I spent quite a bit of time watching the making of ornaments. First a glob of glass (called a batch)s is pulled out of the hot kiln ( over 2000 degrees) where it has been heating to remove any bubbles.
Next it is rotated to keep the glass centered.  Some times it is rolled on one of the metal tables.
The trays hold frits, crushed glass, which the artist will roll the hot piece of glass in to attain some color.

The color has been added and now the artist is rolling the glass on the table to even the shape and embed the the frits.

Next a helper or an artist will blow into the tube form a small ball turning the rod so the ball stays round. See the small ball at the end of the rod.  The artist will then take the ball off the rod by snipping it off the rod and then it is put in a special kiln to gradually cool down usual 8-24 hours.

I also watched while a wine decanter was being made.  This was a "production" decanter made by a team. Usually one decanter will take about seven minutes to make before putting in the cooling kiln. Below the solid piece of glass is being formed by the artists hands with wet  newspaper.

His helper blows and he shapes with more newspaper.  Sometimes they use wooden "spoons" to shape.

As the glass cools he puts it into the "glory hole" to reheat it. He may also use a torch to even out the glass.

Then the glass piece is allowed to elongate and the helper continues to blow the glass using an extension tube while the artist shapes the piece and voila..a wine decanter.  It is then put in the cooling kiln.

I didn't buy any of the pieces....they are beautiful but pricey.

We are in Kentucky the home of the famous Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby.  I just had to see it.  I thought we would just drive over there and walk around and see the track, but we found out that this was the opening of the "Downs at Dark", night racing and bands to draw a young audience.  It's only on Friday nights during the summer race series.   Apparently no two rated race tracks run at the same time so Churchill Downs is dark right after the Derby and then reopens about six weeks later, so we hit it just right.

We arrived at the track about 3:00 and and found out for $1.00 we could go in and explore Churchill downs, but after 4:00 it would be $10.00, but once in we could stay as long as we wanted.   The place was ghostly empty.  We wandered around and then took the historic walking tour.  During the last Derby in May over 160 thousand people were present. All of the seats and infield are full.  It's a big, huge party! Our guide confirmed that women do dress up in fancy dresses and hats and the men in their Sunday Best...even in the rain for the Derby.

The finish line.  The track is one mile but some races are 1 1/16 and others are 3/4 so the gates are moved so the finish line is always the same.

Imagine  over 85,000 people in these seats at the Derby.  General admission is $40 to stand in the infield and other areas but prices go up from there. A box at the top can rum almost $60,000.

There is a nice plaza and paddocks.

The famous steeples of Churchill Downs.

Inside there are several beautiful murals.  This one depicts  all of the jockeys and race horses, below is a key listing the names of the jockeys and horses. Two other depict the owners and the crowds, just as colorful.

The Derby Museum features the current winner of the Derby...this year it was Animal Kingdom.

An exhibit of hats worn during some of the Derby.  Everyone gets dressed to the "nines".

Sculpture of jockey Pat Day who was only 4'11" and always wanted to be 5'.  When the sculpture was cast, it made him 5'.

There are plaques listing the winners of the Derby for 137 years.  Joel wanted to know who won in 1946,  It was Assault who was a triple crown winner also. The triple crown winners are labeled in gold. A triple crown winner is a horse who has won in the Belmont, Preakness, and Derby.  I think there have only been around eleven horses who have won the triple crown.

On to the races.  The horses are walked out by their handlers and put in the gate and then they are off!

We were just inches from the finish line.  It's pretty exciting to watch but, the whole race takes less than two minutes.  We ended up staying for five or six races and then wandering around.  Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries and my digital card was full so I didn't get too many more pictures.  There was a band playing really loud rock and roll...don't know the name... and the thirty something crowd was having a great time.  There were very few greyed hairs in the crown. We left around 9:00 and the party was just starting.

Another skyline view of Louisville

The next morning we headed out for Columbus, Indiana under grey skies.  I feel like we barely scratched the surface of Louisville. There are lots of little neighborhoods and historic districts which would be fun to explore.....

1 comment:

  1. How are we looking at the paintings of Mark Rothko these days?
    Is he old hat, replaced in America by more contemporary concerns? Looking at his minimal canvases and their enticing floating squares of subdued paint live at the MOMA recently, I had to stop to wonder whether he still communicates to a modern and younger audience., the site that sells good canvas prints to order from their database of digital images, has many Rothko prints. I ordered this one, Blue and grey,, that I have now hanging in my study. I can spend a long time looking at this elusive image that takes me to some other place not in this world.