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Glassblowing Tips

Glassblowing isn't easy by any means, but youíll learn tips along the way that make life easier. If you take a class locally the teacher will likely have a lot of little tips that youíll pick up on as you start to work with glass. I want to also share some tips Iíve picked up.

ē Plan Your Project in Advance

I plan out the entire project Iím about to work on before starting anything. I write out the plans and steps involved. I also make sure that my workbench has all of the tools ready because once you start working with the glass you donít have time to find tools.

Planning ahead not only ensures that everything is ready when needed, but youíll also keep your workplace safe. Glassblowing can be dangerous when itís not taken seriously. Spend the extra time to write your plan down on paper and to set-up your workbench.

ē Keep Your Blowpipe Rotating

If youíve ever received glassblowing instruction you have probably heard this a hundred times. Your blowpipe should be rotating at all times while working on the glass. If it isnít rotating the glass will all run to one side and your piece will have to be restarted.

ē Shaping Your Glass

Shaping your glass is difficult and you need a partner to blow into the blowpipe. I have a simple tip if you donít know how to work the glass on your marver. To move the bubble in your glass down more you need to marver the sides while your partner blows.

If you want the bubble to expand outwards on the sides you need to cool down the bottom of your glass on the marver before your partner blows into the blowpipe. Also make sure you have wooden paddles/blocks, as theyíll make shaping your glass much easier.

ē Purchasing Your First Torch

There are a lot of glassblowing torches on the market and they all arenít similar. Itís important to research the available torches on the market to find one suitable for your needs. Certain torches wonít work with certain glass because the torch isnít hot enough.

Ideally you should look for a torch that uses gas and oxygen because the flame will be hot enough to work with all of the glass that a beginner would work with. Also make sure that you purchase the correct tips for your torch based on your project needs.

ē Transferring Glass From the Blowpipe to the Punty

This stage of a project is where a lot of problems happen for new glassblowers. When you transfer your glass from the blowpipe to a punty you have to break the glass off of the blowpipe. Often times the glass has to be weakened at the neck before itíll break off.

To make the glass weaker at the neck you need a pair of tweezers or a nail file. Wet the tool and etch around the neck, which in turn will weaken the glass and make it much easier to break the piece off of the blowpipe while transferring it to a punty.

ē Remaining Safe While Glassblowing

The most important safety measure to consider before glassblowing that is often overlooked is ventilation. Breathing in the air while glassblowing without proper ventilation in the room can be harmful to your health. Youíll need multiple fans to properly ventilate.

You should have one high-powered fan blowing the air out of the room and one normal fan blowing fresh air into the room. If you donít have the proper set-up for glassblowing at home there are studios in most cities that can be rented out inexpensively.




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