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April 29, 2010

Typically, since this is my food blog, I limit myself to only discussing all things, well, food-related.  However, since this blog is also about me, today I am breaking from the norm, and for the first time ever I will have a non-food related blog post.  On glassblowing.  But only because I deem glassblowing to be pretty darn cool.  I am no expert on glassblowing; I have only taken a couple of classes, but I am in love.  Here I will share with you my experience.

So for those of you who have ever wondered about the process of glass blowing…this one’s for you!

To start out, you go to the big furnace with molten glass and get a nice glob of glass on the end of the rod.

You run the rod itself through cold water so that it is cool enough to handle.  This part is pretty important 😉

Then you blow a bubble in it.  This can be done either by blowing a small air bubble bubble, cap the end with their finger and turn the thing upside down.  The heat expands the air up in the molten glass to make a bigger bubble.

Or you can just hang it over the side of the bench and blow.

You roll the glass over the bench to flatten/shape the glass (a process called marvering).  Then you repeat all of this until you have enough glass on your rod to make your piece.  By the way–that small jar on the right in this picture, with the blue specs in it…that’s what is used for coloring.  You just do this marvering process, but you roll it through the blue glass pieces which stick on.   Then, when you put it back in the furnace it all melts together.

Then you get to start shaping the base!

All this time, there is a person on the end, blowing into your glass to help it grow.

And whenever the glass starts to cool down, heat it up in the smaller furnace.

When the end of the bubble (which becomes the base of the piece_ is flat, you connect another rod with some molten glass on the end (called the punti) to the base to transfer it.

And then you shape the tip.

And when it’s all over, you get these.

Obviously, we had a lot of help to make these, and they’re still pretty lopsided and bubble-ridden. 🙂  On Saturday, we get to go back for more practice, so let me know if you have any good ideas of what to make!

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