I guess I don’t generally think of it that way, but probably the most important tool in glassblowing is the glass.
It comes out of the furnace clear, at a working temperature of 2080 degrees fahrenheit. Whether you’re adding color, making something that will fit in the palm of your hand or that will need multiple people to move, each blown glass piece usually begins and ends, in some way, with clear glass.
It’s fluid like honey when hot–and you’re constantly rotating it on the end of a metal rod or blow pipe to keep it centered. Stop for a second and it moves one way, turn it again (perhaps with some heat) and it moves the other.
Easily shattered, yet surprisingly strong, it takes on a whole new life when cool.
This is the latest in a series of posts showing the behind the scenes of what it takes to make something by hand. Explore other posts in the series. Questions about the tools or process? Let me know in the comments!