The Studio

Glassblowing involves inflating molten glass by blowing through a hollow metal tube, called a blowpipe. The glass is then shaped into a variety of forms with the aid of a range of hand tools.

The raw material is called glass batch and is made from a mixture of highly refined sand, lime and soda as well as a few other materials that give it more clarity and allow it to maintain its heat for longer periods. This batch comes as a fine white powder and is made specifically for glassblowers.

When we put the glass batch into the furnace, heat melts it into clear glass which we work with at temperatures of over 1000 degrees centigrade.

The molten glass cools quite quickly and as it does it solidifies. In order to keep working the glass we need to keep it in a hot, liquid form. This is done by frequently re-heating the glass in a piece of equipment called a glory hole. We alternate between shaping and heating until the piece is finished.

Once it has been made the piece needs to cool down very slowly otherwise it will break. We do this by placing it into a hot kiln which takes all night to cool down to room temperature.

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