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The morning melting point

Ronin McCracken ’26
Maria Kotsis ’27, Seely Troffkin ’25, Kelsie George ’25, Kalliope Tsagaratos ’25 and Tess Hodges ’25 working hard on their Christmas ornaments. Using their skills with blow torches and forming melted glass so make something truly spectacular.

The name may be misleading but South’s Lampworking club is not at all about making lamps. Students at the break of dawn use real fire power to make small glass objects like beads or even exciting festive ornaments.

Lampworking means melting glass and shaping when hot enough. This club meets each Friday morning and is advised by Biology teacher Shelly Rothenbuhler. Rothenbuhler has been doing lampworking for many years at the local Neighborhood Club as a side hobby, and later introduced it to her class, eventually evolving into a small club.

“Oh, it is fun, it’s really fun, and once you get into it, it’s very mesmerizing,” Rothenbuhler said. “It’s a little stressful when you’re first learning but it gets to be very relaxing when you’re done.”

Students don’t need any prior experience to join the club, even Kelsie George ’25 used to be new at lampworking. Now she’s the student leader of the club, helping newcomers and running things along while focusing on her own work.

“There’s just a couple of us, we have more (members) some weeks, but it’s just something that’s fun,” George said. “It’s relaxing and something you can come and do in the morning and kind of just decompress from school.”

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About the Contributor
Ronin McCracken ’26
Ronin McCracken ’26, Staff Writer
Drawing. Painting. Printmaking. Photography. After a summer spent unleashing his creativity through every possible medium, Ronin McCracken ’26 is ready to take on a brand new one: journalism. As a first year staff writer for The Tower, McCracken isn’t sure what he wants to write just yet, but he’s looking forward to voicing his thoughts in opinion stories in the coming year. “If I see a story that I like, I’ll just try to do that the best I can,” McCracken said. When he isn’t making art or chasing down his next big story, McCracken can be found with a controller in hand, fighting his way out of yet another Mortal Kombat chapter beside his closest friends. An avid gamer for many years, McCracken said he can hardly remember a time without a console. “I remember having a Wii when I was really little,” McCracken said. “We still have it, but it’s not even usable anymore. That was probably the first time I ever played a video game--I don’t even know how young.”

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