Blown Glass • The Process of
Working with molten glass kept at 2100˚, our glass blowers work year round in 120 degree temperatures to craft the hot liquid into bowls, platters, lighting fixtures, wall hangings, sculptures, awards and much more. If you are looking for pieces born out of fire, this is the place to give it life.
Blow pipes and punties are heated, as glass will stick to metal that is hot but not to metal that is cold. The pipe is dipped into the crucible of clear molten glass, and rolled to gather the glass onto the pole. The pole is dipped into the crucible multiple times until enough glass has been gathered for any given piece.
Color is added to the clear glass by rolling it in small pieces (frit) or long strings (cane) of colored glass. The heat from the clear glass melts the colored glass. Multiple colors can be layered with clear glass to create depth and nuance throughout the piece.
Glass can be blown into molds, or rolled and shaped by wooden ladles (blocks) or folded on stacks of wet newspaper. Sometimes the glass is pulled and stretched with large tweezers. The punty can be spun quickly to use centrifugal force to open up and flatten out the glass.
If glass is cooled too quickly, it can shatter easily. Once a piece is completed in the hot shop, it is placed in one of our annealing ovens, which will hold it at 1000o until the end of the day. When all of the glass blowing is finished for the day, the ovens will start the annealing cycle, in which they will gradually cool the glass overnight.