How to Blow Glass
Glass blower Todd Hansen demonstrates glassblowing techniques by making a small vase using clear molten glass and hand tools.
Todd Hansen: Hello, I am Todd Hansen. We are at the Art of Fire-Contemporary Glass Studio in Lytonsville, Maryland. Today I am going to show you how to blow a simple vessel from clear molten glass. A couple of things that we will need are a studio Hot Shop where we have got our furnace and equipment and some heavy tools and I will take you through the basic steps from gathering glass on an iron to shaping and sizing the piece to get it to the proper dimensions and finally, we will learn how to transfer and finish the piece before we place it into the annealer. Now the material that we are using is a mixture of soda, silica and lime. These materials are melted at about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and kept in the furnace and for that reason we take safety very seriously. In this process we usually wear cotton clothing, shoes that cover our feet completely and we always wear a pair of safety glasses to keep the glass from popping and hitting us in the eye. Now if you want to get started in this process, it is best to find a Hot Shop studio that has all the equipments, the furnace, the gloryhole, the annealer, that way you know you have got some good hands on instruction, you have got people who know what they are doing and you are working in a safe environment. Now I have been here at the Art of Fire for about 10 years now. I have learned my technique from working with different peers and my co-workers in the studio. I have been fortunate enough to work with some industry people from the US and a few Italian masters. So you found your studio, you are ready to get started on glass blowing, so lets first gather glass.