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Glass Blowing Basics

Glassblowing has been in existence for over 2000 years.  While most commercial glass is manufactured by machine, glassblowing survives as both an art form and as a craft for higher value lower production volume pieces.

The basic process of glassblowing is to dip the end of a blow pipe (a steel rod with a hollow core) into a pool of molten glass (called a gather) and to then blow into the pipe to inflate the bubble while controlling the outside of the glass to form the desired shape.  Color may be applied during this process and usually there will be one or more additional trips back to the furnace to gather additional glass.

Once the basic size and shape of the piece is formed on the blow pipe, the piece is transferred to the punty (a steel rod without a hollow core) and the opening at the end is then formed into the final shape.

The completed piece is removed from the punty (while still hot) and placed in a pre-heated annealer (or kiln) which will bring the piece down slowly to room temperature over several hours.

That's a really basic look at the process.  The other pages in this section provide some more detail.

If you have any questions on glassblowing, or items on this site, drop me a line through the contact page.  I'm happy to answer questions.