Glass blowing is when you make glassware by blowing air through a tube of semi-molten glass. The technique of glassblowing has been around since antiquity. It has been incredibly popular since the time of the Roman Empire. First century B.C. Syrians are the ones who are known most for the discovery that glass could be blown from the end of a hollow tube into different shapes or molds. This molten blob of glass is made only of silica or sand. We pretty much use the same techniques now as they used then to blow glass with a few modern additions. While we have introduced more up to date equipment, the fundamentals of glassblowing have stayed the same as when it was first discovered. First when starting this process is the initial furnace. Inside this furnace, there is a pot. This furnace is filled with large amounts of a batch that melt at temperatures higher than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Glassblowing can be done by one person but it is super difficult to do alone so typically it will often be done by more than one person. Once things start to get really going, the main person doing the glass blowing will get his blowpipe, which is typically made of iron or steel and is about 4 feet long and then the blowpipe will be put into the furnace and come out with a gob of molten glass on the end. After the glass is secured, the other end of the pipe is cooled off in a barrel of water. At this point, the person doing the job will start to blow through the tube and this will start to make a bubble in the glass that continues to get bigger. When the tube is not being blown into, the end of it is capped, this way the hot air will stay in the glass and help it stay the same. More layers of glass can add by dipping the glass attached to the blowpipe back into the batch. Glassblowers will use a big and flat surface to be able to roll and to be able to shape the glass and create the ideal glass bong. What is the best type of bong? You can choose the color and pattern for your taste.
There are a few different tools that can be used to shape the glass including:
- A Block
- Heat Shield
During the blowing process, the partially blown glass is turned around several times and parts of glass are added by using a smaller metal rod and many colors are also added during this process making it as colorful as the person wants it to be. More glass can be added in a number of different ways including:
- It can be laminated on with heat or adhesive
- Threads and wraps are able to be put in decorative patterns while the glass is being turned
- Shards can be melted into it
While this is going on, a metal rod is attached to the base of the blown glass to hold it while the opposite end of the glass is being shaped. While the glass is being blown, it cools to where it is unable to be worked on anymore. Once a piece of glass is done, something that is used to help it cool properly is known as an annealer. An annealer is able to control the rate of cooling. If this was not used, the glass would be able to become unstable.