Glass blowing is when you form a glass object by inflating molten hot glass into a bubble using a blowpipe. A glassblower can also be called a glass smith or gaffer. On a smaller scale, a lamp worker is someone who works with glass as it is melting by using a torch.
When glass is in its liquid form, the atoms are held together by very strong chemical bonds allowing it to be strong enough to be blown and gradually harden as heat is lost. Whilst blowing the molten glass with the blowpipe, thinner layers of glass will cool faster and become stronger than the thicker layers. This allows for the production of blown glass with uniform thickness. There are now so many new ranges of glass blowing techniques as they have adapted over the ages, but two major methods are: Free-blowing and mold-blowing. Free-blowing is when you have a blob of glass at the bottom of the blowpipe and blow air into the molten glass so that it inflates, then you work the blob into whatever shape you desire. It requires a bit of practice and skill to do this form of free-blowing activity. Mold-blowing is when you have the molten glass blob at the end of the blow pipe, but you place it into a wooden or metal carved mold. As it inflates, it takes on the shape of the mold, placing the skill on the mold designer rather than the glass blower. If you could design your own molds and make your own creations, you could have quite a following and perhaps a small business as shops and the public are always looking for unique pieces to buy and display.
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What You Need To Know Before You Blow Glass
By Tim Roberts
It is very difficult to get real information on the internet when it comes to glassblowing. Many people online are busy insisting that glassblowing is just too dangerous for people to learn and do. In reality; however, if a person receives the right training they will be able to blow glass safely for as long as they choose to. As with anything, safety steps need to be taken, but the actual dangers of glassblowing are largely exaggerated. In this article I will provide the information that is needed for anyone interested to get into glassblowing.
Blowing glass requires you to work with extreme temperatures so the clothing that is worn should be protective and you should always make sure that the area you are working in is well ventilated. These are two of the most important safety steps that you can take. The most common accidents associated with glassblowing are merely the result of carelessness on the part of the person blowing the glass and working in an area that is not set up properly and ventilated well. When approached correctly the process of glassblowing is as safe as any other art or craft.
Depending on where you live in the world you will also need to be aware of any applicable laws. The studio or place you intend on blowing the glass may need to go through a state inspection is depending on where you are located. During a state inspection everything must meet the state’s standards or they will not allow you to work. Many states have laws regarding metals, chemical exposures, noise, and air contaminants. All of these laws must be followed for the state to allow you to engage in glassblowing.
The final piece of the puzzle before you begin glassblowing is to ensure that you are properly trained. As I said previously when done properly with the necessary safety precautions glassblowing is safe. However, if you do not know what you are doing you are taking on a huge risk. That sounds like a common sense approach but many people still attempt glassblowing thinking they know what they are doing when they really do not.
Below you will find a review of a great resource for learning everything you need to know about glassblowing. You must get this information before you even consider beginning glassblowing. Without this information you are putting yourself in serious danger. The dangers of glassblowing are exaggerated mainly due to a lack of knowledge, working carelessly, and working in improper conditions. When these issues are addressed glassblowing can be a safe and rewarding endeavor.
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