Monday, June 1, 2009


Myth: You have to have Mega Lungs to be a glassblower

Not true. One's lung capacity has little to do with their ability to be a glassblower. Working "hotter" has everything to do with one's ability to be a glassblower.
I find myself contanstly telling a newcomer to "get it hotter, get it hotter, get it hotter", as I watch them struggle to get a bubble in an ice cold gather of glass.

In it's molten state (in the the furnace), it's about 2100 degrees, and is the consistency of honey. As soon as you "gather" glass from the furnace, and begin to work with it at room temperature, it begins to cool. And it cools quickly. The colder it gets, the harder it is to work with.

Think of bubblegum for a moment.......

We all know it's much easier to blow a bubble when the gum is "new"..........chew it for a while, and it becomes harder to blow a bubble, right?
So, apply that to glass. New gum=hot glass. Old gum=cold glass.
Understanding heat, and being able to work "hotter" is just one of the challenges one has to face as they learn to blow glass. And increasing lung capacity? Save that skill for a marathon.

1 comment:

jealousydesign said...

It is so long time since I tried this! It was back in artschool, and I agree it is easier than it sounds but to get the glass to look like something and maybe even be useful...that is a different story (will not comment my skills on that) ;)