Would You Try Glass Blowing?

Teri J Schultz is a member of my Whimsyandcosy Craft Club , join HERE,  Recently Teri posted pictures of some GLASS BLOWING she had done, (the Ladies on my group are so varied in their talents), and I found it so pretty and interesting that I wanted to show you here at the blog. So that you could be inspired too.

Glass Blowing always sounds very difficult and very hard to get to do, to me at least, and playing with all that heat! – … well you wonder if you are going to get burnt!

Teri went to Tacoma Glass Blowing Studios a while back, and she sure had some fun by the looks of it.

At Tacoma Glass Blowing Studio they were doing a workshop which Teri took part in.

studio

Since then Teri has many a selection of bowls when she has chance to get to a glass blowing studio,  at Tacoma or not! – these photos are from three visits she made to Glass Blowing studios.

blue-bowl
A finished bowl of Teri’s.

 

LETS ASK TERI…

1 How did you get the idea to try glass blowing?

I’ve always loved blown glass and when Chihuly became popular…well, wow.

When my husband worked for a company out of Tacoma, WA I would fly in to meet his ship when it returned.  Since I love learning new things, I searched out classes in the area.  One that came up was Tacoma Glass blowing Studio.  I made the small dish and was hooked.

2 How fun was it picking things that would make your design, did you get long to choose?

chioces
Designing the bowl

At Tacoma Glass blowing Studio  http://www.tacomaglassblowing.com/ , they are very open to teaching you what you want to make.  I looked over the possible options (almost anything based on experience you build on) before the class date and knew what I wanted to do when I arrived.

Where I am working here in Tennessee, the options are more limited.  It’s a satellite of Atlanta Glass Art and Algar offers workshops to make ‘a thing’.  But he does expand the options so it’s good.

I do miss making my large pieces tho…

3 How hot did it feel near to the furnaces? as hot as one would imagine?

in-action
Glass Blowing Heat

It is hotter.

 

The crucible (where the molten glass sits) is kept at about 2500 degrees.  The ‘glory hole’ where you reheat your glass as you work it is about 1800 (glass can’t go below 1000* in working form).  The annealing oven is 960*… the starting point of the cool down of the glass.  And there is a heater for the pipes and punts (rods) to keep them almost red-hot (glass will not ‘stick’ to cool metal).  ALL of these hot boxes are blazing at the same time.

 

In a large studio you might have 8 to 10 glory holes fired up at one time.

4 How hard was glass blowing compared to what you had thought before you tried it?

I really didn’t have any thoughts on the difficulty before I started.

glass-blow
Glass Blowing in action

 

5 what was the easiest thing about Glass Blowing for you?

The designing of my piece.

melted-glass
Melted Glass

 

6 Better ask what was the most difficult?

Absolutely the process of keeping the molten glass centered on the pipe.  You have to keep the pipe always rotating or the glass droops.  And that can ruin your piece as the thickness of the wall can change.

glass
A glass  blown bowl in progress

7 How long did the whole process take start to finish?

The ornaments take about 20 minutes, depending on how much color you lay on.  After each color addition you have to make a trip back to the glory hole to reheat.  The large bowl (which is about 12 inches high) took a couple of hours, but part of that was the learning curve.

table
Glass Blowing Workshop

8 How did you get the beach into this bowl Teri? – I love it!

That was one of the easier pieces.  You just blow a large ball and shape it so it’s even.  When you take glass off the pipe, it leaves a hole.  Then you cool it down.  Once cool, the sand and stuff are added through that hole.  The hole is then reheated with a blow torch and a semi-molten disc is stuck on, becoming the base.

The sand and things in my ‘sand globe’ are from a beach on Adak Island, Alaska, along with a couple of pieces of sea glass I found in Port Townsend, WA.  So it is very personal for me.

sea
My Favorite bowl of Teri’s.

9 Was there anything that really surprised you about the glass blowing process?

The way the molten glass feels.  There are methods of design where you actually cut the molten glass.  It feels like cutting sand loaded Silly Putty!

10 If and when you go glass blowing again, what would you like to make style wise, and colors? 

When!  My next project will be learning how to make glass flowers; roses and lilies to start with.

————————————————————————–

Teri herself has a blog piece on it so I will drop the link to that for you to pop over and see that in all the depth.

See Teri’s Glass Blowing

Thank you so much Teri for that interesting insight into Glass Blowing, love what you have made, so clever.

See more making on a crochet topic this time at my post CROCHET Inspiration

ZOZIE

 

 

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