Athena Club learns about the art of glassmaking

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Betty McCormick/columnist

On Thursday, Nov. 18, The Athena Club met at the home of president Genida Johnson.

She opened the meeting by expressing the club’s gratitude to honorary member Helen Finch for entertaining the members at the recent Methodist Bazaar.

Genida then read a prayer that the Hospital Auxiliary places on the trays of the patients.

There were nine members present.

Jean Merkle chose as her response to Favorite Nursery Rhymes

"Mary Had a Little Lamb."

In giving its background, the members discovered there had been a real Mary and a real lamb,

and an interesting story.

The minutes were read and approved.

Treasurer Jean Merkle reported the treasury balance.

Corinne Slayden introduced Doris Kirkpatrick with her program on "Glassmaking."

She disclosed that the secret of glass’s versatility lies in its interior structure.

Although it is rigid and thus like a solid – the atoms are arranged in a random, disordered fashion characteristic of a liquid.

In the melting process, the atoms in the raw materials are disturbed from their normal position in the molecular structure; before they can find their way back to crystalline arrangements, the glass cools.

This looseness in molecular structure gives the material what engineers call tremendous "formability" and capacity for dissolving.

This ability to accommodate allows technicians to tailor glass to the need.

Glass is made somewhat the same way a cook makes hard candy.

The glassmaker mixed together large amount of sand and small amounts of line, soda and other materials to give the glass special qualities.

He heats the mixture, or batch, in a furnace at an extremely high temperature, adding "cullet" or leftover glass from another batch, until it is a syrupy mass.

When the syrup cools, it is glass.

She mentioned there are four main methods of forming or shaping glass – blowing, pressing, drawing and casting – and elaborated on each.

The first manufactured glass was made in Egypt around 4000 B.C.

The first glass factory in what is now the United States was a glass plant in Jamestown, Va.,

in 1608.

Pictures of art glass, stained glass and skyscrapers made of glass were passed to the members to peruse.

At the close of her program, Doris thanked those members who has brought glass objects to display.

They were all delightful to behold.

Glenda Parkel invited the members to her home for the annual Christmas party and gift exchange in December.

The meeting was adjourned with the reading of the Club Collect.

The hostess invited everyone to a delicious buffet, which was enjoyed by all, as was the time of fellowship.

The Duplicate Bridge Charity Game will be played on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. at the Bank/Trust Community Room.

All members and visitors are invited to attend at that time.

St. Leo’s Ladies Auxiliary met in the parish center at 6 on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

Kay Courtney, president, presided and welcomed the members and Father Michael Wrigley to the Christmas meeting.

Fr. Michael asked a special prayer and blessing on the ladies and their work for the church and community.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved as read, and she also gave the treasurer’s report.

Kay reported on the purchase of the Christmas poinsettias and stated that memorials or flowers in honor of someone may be made.

There was a discussion regarding the cleaning and decorating of the church for Christmas and this will be on Thursday, Dec. 23 after the 8 a.m. Mass.

Diane Busby volunteered to have care of the altar for January.

Election of officers for the coming year took place, and the following slate was made and unanimously elected:

President – Lucette Osborne; Vice President – Pat Brady; Secretary- Treasurer – Jan McDonald.

The meeting was closed with

prayer by Fr. Michael.

Each member brought various items to share for a delicious meal with a variety of deserts.

Also some lovely gifts were given such as Christmas cactus, medals, cookies, trays, note pads, etc.

The delicious food and fellowship was enjoyed by all.