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July 14, 2019 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Blown Away, a glass blowing reality competition show, made the leap from cable TV to Netflix this weekend. No doubt you’ll want to binge the show, but what if you want to see more of the contestants' work? Step inside for links to their websites, instagram feeds, etc. posted by jacquilynne (29 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks. And yes, we binged it.
posted by key_of_z at 5:46 PM on July 14, 2019


Eeeeeee!!!! I love both glassblowing and reality TV. This is catnip. Thank you for making me aware that it exists.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:46 PM on July 14, 2019


I’m binging it, too, and it’s one of the very few shows (read pretty much only) show that has scratched my Great British Bake-off itch. It’s a little more competitive than GBBO, and idk about them setting the older artsy lady as the villain, but it’s still really entertaining. Fanny pack decanter 5ever!
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:07 PM on July 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


(Also, Alex is definitely aiming for Glass Bae.)
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:08 PM on July 14, 2019


This is the first "reality" show aside from the baking show where I really felt the contestants knew what they were doing.
posted by Peach at 6:08 PM on July 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


We binged the whole thing in a day, and yeah, it was a very good thing. It didn’t quite scratch the bake-off itch for us (and we are serious bake-off obsessive), but it was close.

I think what makes Bake Off as good as it is (although I have opinions about the 2018 season), is that the competition between the contestants is essentially incidental to their competition with themselves. There aren’t any other reality shows we’ve ever seen where a contestant can yell for help and get it from their fellow competitors. Maybe the only exception is the Great British Sewing Bee... which is even more adorable, but hasn’t been licensed for the US.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 6:31 PM on July 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


One of the things I really enjoyed about this show was the very real competitive drama -- people literally showed up at judging with nothing but shards. In lots of shows, they cut the tape and do voiceovers to suggest that people will not finish or might drop their cake or whatever, but in reality, everyone turns in something pretty reasonable in the end and all the drama feels like it was for nothing. But here people dropped projects or had them shatter and had to present nothing or present radically scaled down versions of what they had planned because they had to start over. You could actually feel the impact of the timelines.

At the same time, timelines slightly annoys me on all of these reality shows -- I'd like to see what those contestants could do with a reasonable amount of time to pull things off; what their vision truly looks like without the artificial limits of the competition. Still, at least on this show the limitation felt real and impactful.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:09 PM on July 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Making It and Strip Search both had an element of "we're here to make friends and encourage one another."

I like shows like that; it's much more appealing for creative competitions when they're won on merit and not because the other person failed.
posted by explosion at 7:10 PM on July 14, 2019


i want to eat the forbidden taffy
posted by poffin boffin at 7:22 PM on July 14, 2019 [10 favorites]


This is the first "reality" show aside from the baking show where I really felt the contestants knew what they were doing.

You might like Skin Wars if it is still on Netflix. Lots of competence on display in a body painting competition. Did I know body painting was a thing before I watched it? No! But it was still cool.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:19 PM on July 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


I was just talking with my friends in the UK about how at least we can hang our remaining slivers of national pride on the world beating export of arts and crafts based reality TV, but this gives me pause. I will watch this.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:54 PM on July 14, 2019 [1 favorite]



i want to eat the forbidden taffy


mmmmm lacerations
posted by lalochezia at 1:28 AM on July 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


In the same vein there is the Great British Pottery Throw Down which is lovely and had two seasons.
posted by poxandplague at 1:29 AM on July 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Sky Arts' Portrait Artist of the Year and it's spin-off Landscape Artist of the Year are both engagingly positive reality shows. They are arranged as competitions, but with no spiteful setting-off of one contestant against another or crudely imposed fake narrative. I loathe reality TV, but I'm happy to make an exception for these two shows.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:32 AM on July 15, 2019


At the same time, timelines slightly annoys me on all of these reality shows -- I'd like to see what those contestants could do with a reasonable amount of time to pull things off; what their vision truly looks like without the artificial limits of the competition.

This this this. I will probably watch this, because I'm a dork, but I don't want to see amazingly talented artists feud and turn in shards or scaled down pieces, I want to see them doing their best work in ideal conditions. Show me the documentary where the producers say "here's a huge budget, craft us something amazing, except we get to film it".
posted by saysthis at 4:05 AM on July 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


I know one of the contestants, so I’m really excited to watch this, but I don’t have Netflix so I’m also frustrated! I’m going to Pilchuck Glass School in a few weeks, and I expect that pretty much all the glass nerds there will have pirated copies on their laptops that I can watch.
posted by moonmilk at 4:41 AM on July 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


One thing I loved about this show (binged the whole thing this weekend) is that the contestants all really seemed to understand how talented their competition was. There were some personalities that, on other shows, might have been encouraged as drama-inducing, but other than a few, "I wish X wouldn't yell so much" (and that bugged me even that little bit), they all knew just how well everyone was doing.

I hope this is popular enough to get a season 2, because I could watch people make art all day long.
posted by xingcat at 5:27 AM on July 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


As a matter of principle I never watch reality shows. As a glass blower I guess I may have to make an exception. Don’t tell anybody.

I was never a good glass blower, but one thing I learned is that each step has a finite chance of wrecking the piece, so you often have to choose when to stop refining things and stuff it in the annealer. The better you get, the lower the chance of disaster and the more complex construction you can expect to pull off, but even really good people break stuff occasionally.

As for innuendo, you get pretty immune when you realize that “jacking off hot balls” is a simple descriptive sentence that can actually occur in conversation. I mean, ducks in a barrel, man.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 7:32 AM on July 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Just started watching this last night, got a couple of episodes in before sleep got me (it's been a long couple of days). It definitely hit that GBBO spot for me, that same "yeah, we're competing, but we're not COMPETING" sort of vibe that I also get from the blacksmiths on Forged in Fire.

The works that I saw were beautiful. I don't think I understand the concept of 'bravery' as a judging mechanism, though.
posted by hanov3r at 9:48 AM on July 15, 2019


In this context, bravery seemed to address mostly thematic elements -- how much did the work seem like "art" that made some kind of personal or political statement, rather than being functional or representational -- but also a bit of the technical -- how much did the work incorporate difficult or risky techniques that weren't necessarily in the contestant's wheelhouse.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:39 AM on July 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Oh, goddess, jacquilynne, I'm so grateful that you posted this. It's not something I'd have seen on my Netflix radar but binging it today totally made my day!!
posted by blessedlyndie at 10:30 PM on July 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Glassblowing, like blacksmithing, is one of those crafts/hobbies that I'd really like to try but don't because I know I would almost certainly severely injure myself.

I may have to stick to trying pottery one of these days. At least there when the material you're working with is thousands of degrees above room temperature, you're not directly handling it at the time.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:29 AM on July 16, 2019


All I know about glass-blowing came from reading Dick Francis' "Shattered" which had a glass-blower as the main character -- aside from all the descriptions of the craft & techniques, Francis went into great detail of how badly molten glass could damage a person's body (and, Francis being Francis, he doesn't leave that Chekov's gun unfired), so, yeah, I think you have to be pretty crazy-brave to work in this medium.

I finished watching the show last night, thanks for the heads-up.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:59 PM on July 17, 2019


(Fanfare thread added now too)
posted by oh yeah! at 5:34 PM on July 17, 2019


We binged this show in a day. I kept meaning to stop, but if I let the next episode play for a minute or two, I was riveted.

The tension! The drama! They would be making this awesome, beautiful object, and then suddenly, at the peak of gorgeous perfection, it would just shatter. And they were so sanguine about it! They rescue what they can, and if that's nothing, they start again, or present the shards. It is the life that they have chosen...
posted by misfish at 9:52 PM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised by the number of people saying they got GBBO vibes from this bc I really didn't and was super stressed watching a lot of it. I mean, I loved it! But it was not in the same ballpark as GBBO for me. There was a lot of yelling at the assistants from a couple of the artists which was pretty upsetting, and a fair amount of shittalking amongst the contestants toward the end. I took a glassblowing class at Corning when I was younger, and it was hella fun and incredibly challenging, so I have loads of admiration for these people, but whether it was the edit or just the pressure of the competition, some of them really came off like dicks. I also thought some of the judging decisions were questionable in a couple of ep's. But still really entertaining on the (glory) whole.
posted by catch as catch can at 6:25 AM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


In the same vein there is the Great British Pottery Throw Down which is lovely and had two seasons.

They're working on a third!
posted by trig at 12:12 PM on July 18, 2019


Binged it this weekend.
It was a little stressful! Especially when a HELPER broke something omg.
How did no one burn themselves or others, I still don't know.
Must go find that Pottery Throw Down now.
posted by Glinn at 4:42 PM on July 22, 2019


SPOILERS follow - Just finished, and I love how it worked out. I really needed that strong brash woman right now. Seeing her own space and take up space and be vocal about what she stood for and who she was and still come out on top - it really opened my heart. I struggled the first couple of episodes until I realized that if she were a man, her cocky attitude wouldn't even be remarkable. I really like that they let her be abrasive and gave her a positive edit.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:08 PM on July 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


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