Glass blowing is the process of forming glass. It involves the use of a blowpipe to inflate molten glass into bubbles. A person who forms glass is known as a glass smith, glass worker, glass blower or a gaffer. The whole process involves the use of a small scale and a torch to produce glass, just as in the laboratories.
Art and craft of glass blowing
Glass blowing is an old art that was used to make diverse great objects since the old times. It has not been known to many and it still remains so, to this generation. It is an art that is unique in its own way and most people have still not believed how human breath and making glass go hand in hand. It takes a lot of thoughts to imagine how human breath is blown through a blowing pipe to form bubbles in a liquefied globule of glass. To many, it seems mysterious, but the final products like bongs is dreamlike to them. Glass blowing is so practical and it applies some inventive ideas to its pieces to make it fully an art.
The whole process of glass blowing is an artwork that involves blowing off a small amount of air through a blowing pipe into the molten globule. A gaffer dips the glass pipe into a liquefied glass and manipulates it using different arts, to come up with different designs and shapes. Glass blowing has two main blowing techniques. The techniques are listed below:
• Free blowing – It is a technique that has been used in the early days of glass blowing in the 1st century. It is still popular among the glass artists of today. It involved a gaffer who used a blow pipe and blew through the pipe to the molten glass to form bubbles. The gaffer used an assortment of tools to manipulate the end product.
• Mold blowing – With this technique, the gaffer blew breath through a mold that was made of wood or metal, to the molten glass. The end product depended on the shape of the mold. The design of the glasses depended on the pieces of the mold. A single piece mold produced a simple glass while a two-piece mold produced more stylish designs.
The art of glass blowing requires a lot of practice and committed learning. It is an art that needs to be learned from colleges that offer glass blowing courses. Most people take it as a hobby while others pursue it as a career in the university. Glass blowing requires a variety of equipment that also varies with the kind of product required. The tools that are used include fuel regulators, horses, torches, graphite shields, paddles, and tweezers. The working surface and the wall behind uses fire-boards and kiln to make the area fit for glass blowing.