With a few simple tools and an extraordinary skill, glass blowers are able to turn malleable, soft glass into gorgeous creations of artwork. The skill of glass blowing can be learned by almost anyone these days, so in order to start a hobby this could be the perfect way to harness your creativity.
Although information is readily available, it is probably better to enroll in a class and learn from a skilled artisan (check this arts directory for more resources). This way you will benefit from having hands-on experience in a safe environment where you will be taught utilizing each unit and how to approach the extreme heat involved in this art.
Jacks, paddles, tweezers, shears and a blow pipe are just some of the instruments an artist uses. A blow pipe is used throughout the process and is probably the more commonly known tools. The molten glass is collected by the end of the pipe from a crucible, which is found in the first furnace and used for substances that require melting.
So that you can create an outer skin, the blob of glass is rolled on a table called a marver. In the steps that follow, the glassblower creates a bubble in the glass by blowing air through the pipe. This allows the creation to be shaped into its desired form. A second furnace reheats the glass when it cools too much.
Tweezers help the artist pull the glass into shape and add patterns. The paddles form flat surfaces and are employed to produce a bottom for each piece of artwork, while jacks assist with shaping (check this art directory for more resources). If excess glass needs to be removed, then shears are used to cut it.
To stop the creation from breaking, a third furnace is used for annealing. Glass blowing is a beautiful art, which is enhanced when different designs, colors and textures are added to the final piece.