I’d read in the paper about the
Third Degree Glass Factory
(here it is)
glass-blowing demo every third Friday of the month
and decided to go…and it was extremely interesting!
Here’s an account and photos on
the company’s website
(If you scroll down, you will come to where the pics from the July demo are posted…and in pics 13 and 14, if you look behind the glassblower, you can see and littl- Eli-in-her-car-seat!)
But of course I took my own pics and videos, and my videos explain the process better (because they won’t show it all on their website, would they?)
The demo started with the compere telling us about the ovens, some for heating the glass, and the annealing ovens that are used for cooling the finished articles, the punty rods (the hollow rods on which the glass is "gathered" in layers and blown and shaped) and the marver tables on which the glass is rolled.
Two items are made in the demos: one, a large deep dish, and the other, a long vase.
Here he is, showing us the punty rods in front of the oven:
The glass is "gathered" from the oven, in several layers; the oven is around 2200 deg C! (The annealing oven is cooler..but badly made glass can crack or shatter in the annealing oven, too.)
The glass is shaped in these receptacles of water:
The glass also needs to be cut sometimes:
One person blows, while the other shapes the glass:
Here's the glassblower pulling out a glass horse out of the gather:
Sometimes impurities are taken out:
The entire demonstration was conveyed in sign-language for the hearing-challenged:
Slowly the vase begins to take shape:
A blowtorch is used to shine up the outside:
Glassblowing is hot work, and frequent drinks of water help!
The glass is also shaped with wet newspaper:
Cuts are being given at the neck of the glass item:
Sometimes the shape of the bottles means swinging around to shape the gather:
Blowing and shaping towards the end shape
Then, the critical transferring from the punty rod to the finishing one...
The vase is given more shape:
The glassblower uses a special too to blow more air into the bottle:
Then, the finished piece is cut, and a tap separates it from the rod:
To make deep dishes, the glass is, in a spectacular process, "flared out" and then swirled to give the waves:'
After the demo, we came outside to find a bluegrass band playing:
Here are some of the articles made:
This necklace, said the wearer, was made earlier in this studio!
They even have their message on their van:
The finishing touch was when A told me to go and look at the toilets, I was delighted to find beautiful basins there, too…this was the most artistic restroom I have visited in the US!