Have you ever looked at a piece of glass and wondered, “Wow, how did they do that?”. I don’t care how many times I go to the local hot shop to blow glass, it is mind blowing each and every time! To watch a small glob of molten glass be shaped into a unique work of art is truly amazing. If you ever have an opportunity to make a blown glass piece of art, I highly recommend it.
The ArtFire crew took some friends and family to experience glass blowing and glass shaping. Our group (who ranged in age from 9 to 45) made: paperweights, bowls, tumblers, flowers, and sun catchers.
Glassblowing is a glass forming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble with some help from a blowpipe. Although all the glass making techniques are intriguing, glass blowing transforms the glass in the most dramatic ways.
All of our pieces started out the same. We dipped a blowpipe into the kiln to grab a ball of glass. We dipped the glass blob into colored glass chips of our choice and put it back into the kiln to melt together.
The next step was where things really got exciting and started to take shape. If you created something like a bowl, tumbler, ornament, etc… you blew a small puff of air through the blow pipe into the glass. This is actually harder than it sounds! That burst of air is what allowed the projects to take shape.
From here different tools and techniques were used to shape the glass into their future selves.
For those who crafted a paper weight or flower, special long handled “tweezers” were used to pull, twist, poke, and shape the project.
The glass blowing experience is a treat all on its own. But when we were able to pick up our masterpieces and see our final products it was the cherry on top! Thank you to the staff at Sonoran Glass School for such a great experience!
Be sure to scroll through some of the incredible blown glass items crafted by ArtFire makers!