Two Roads Diverged

Life is all about choices – so which choice is coming next?

Hidden Talents at County Fairs

on November 10, 2012

It just so happens that my old college roommate lives in Winston-Salem, NC. The site of the Dixie Classic Fair!

So of course we had to go!

We planned to go on a Monday – so Sunday night, we spent at least an hour pouring over the schedule of events. Planning.

”Ok, dog show first. Then the pig races. Then we’ll find the woman on stilts. Ok, then the woodcarver display, then…” (and so on)

Monday dawned – dark and rainy.

But we were glad! Because rain meant the fair was empty. We didn’t fight crowds, we didn’t fight lines, we didn’t fight for seats. Everything in the fair was at our fingertips!

So our plan started off fine – we hit the first couple shows we’d planned on. Found the woman on stilts much faster than we’d planned on – and ended up with some extra minutes.

We wandered over to the “Town of Yesterday” where all the demonstrations were being held – tin making, loom weaving, etc.

We walked into the hut holding all the award-winning wines. As we’re purusing a man walks in and starts setting up some tables.

“I’m just setting up now, but if you guys come back in a half hour, I’ll let you help me.”
“With what?”
“I’m a glassblower!”

An offer to watch glassblowing? Heck yeah!

So we go wander around for a half hour, then scurry right back to the glassblower’s hut.

Jeff – the glassblower.

Dixie Classic Fair, Winston-Salem North Carolina, glassblowing

Melting glass!

Fascinating guy. FULL of stories. Full of facts.

He let us choose colors, and then turned on a blowtorch to make us glass jewelry.

As we were in 200 year old houses, he couldn’t really do full glassblowing. He could only use a small blowtorch – but it was still impressive!

So we chose some colors and he made us some glass beads. Told us to come back in a half hour when they’d cooled.

Because what’s sexier than eating deep fried reeses balls?


So we went off to eat (deep fried PB&J, deep fried reeses, and chili cheese fries. Yes – that is my arteries you hear clogging up).

Then we went back.

We all chatted some more. He made us a couple more beads. Showing us some different techniques like adding glass drops on the outside.

We left again to entertain ourselves (petting zoo, pig races).

And we returned AGAIN! And he made us MORE glass pendants.

As we left to allow him to get some dinner (and check out the Kellie Pickler concert) he told us that if we came back, he’d let us behind the blowtorch!

Some of the glass swag

So what could we do but go back?? And of course, try our hand at glass making.

I went last of the three of us. And it was exhilarating and terrifying. So cool to be holding molten glass – but I was holding molten glass and my hands were next to a pure blue flame!!

(All right, picture story!!)

glassblowing, glass bead making

This face: the trepidation of that flame


The face of amazement – the “this is SO COOL”


Molten glass – it’s dripping!


It’s a bead shape! Happy face!


Pretty much – I amaze even myself with how cool I look (ha, ha. Get it? Cause I’m cooling the glass??!?)

It turns out – I’m apparently a natural at glass bead making. Jeff complimented my skills, and the woman next to him looked at me and said, “Seriously – I’ve seen lots of beginner students and they don’t make beads that look that good.”

I know – I can hardly believe how perfect it is too.


*self-pat on the back* If I ever really find myself completely unemployable, at least I can make awesome glass beads to sell!

At the end of our 12 hour fair day we trudged home. More tired, wetter, and colder than when we’d first started out.

But in the end it was one of the better fairs I’ve been to! How often to you get tons of free glass swag, make a new friend with an awesomely talented artist, and try your hand at creating something in 1500°F flames?

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19 responses to “Hidden Talents at County Fairs

  1. Could this be the start of a new career?

  2. Kelly says:

    We went to the fair, too!! I ate my face off. Good times.

  3. MissFourEyes says:

    Nothing is sexier than eating deep fried reeses balls. Nothing.
    Except maybe glass bead making. That looks like fun!

  4. Glass blowing is amazing!! Excellent that you got a chance to try it

  5. becca3416 says:

    That looks like a lot of fun. I love the facial expression transitions you make! Ha!

  6. MaximumWage says:

    Deep fried PB&J? Deep fried Reese’s! Holy crap that sounds so good… Also nice expressions on the photos, You look so intense. :-)

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