How to Blow Glass for Glassblowing

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Techniques for blowing glass and starting a project, including tips; learn these things and more in this instructional arts and crafts video series on glass blowing.

Part of the Video Series: How to Blow Glass
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Video Transcript

Hi! I’m Jim McKelvey with Third Degree Glass Factory in St. Louis. You can check us out on the web at www.stlglass.com. Today, we’re going to learn about glassblowing for expertvillage.com. So, let’s blow this piece of glass. I’ve got a little bubble in there. I watch how the bubble is going down the piece of glass. In general, you want the bottom to be thick and the sides to be relatively thin. Now, if the sides get too thin, you chill them by rolling them on the marver. If the bottom is too thick, you can heat the bottom up just by itself by coming up here to the front of the glory hole and concentrating that heat on the bottom of the piece. In general, what I’m going to do as I blow out a starter bubble is balance the heat that I’m putting into the glass. I can put a little bit of heat into the sides; I can put a little bit of heat into the bottom. And then I can remove heat by rolling it on the marver. The marver is a very important tool to understand. It’s metal, and because the metal actually touches the glass, it sucks a lot of heat out of it. The marver is an excellent way of adjusting the heat if for instance, I wanted to just blow out the sides of the piece and not blow out the bottom. I would heat up the whole piece, and then when I came out I would chill the bottom of the piece and not touch the sides; and then the sides would blow out because they’re hot and the bottom is cold. So now that we’ve heated up the piece a little bit, in this case, I want the bubble to move down the piece, so I’m just going to marver the sides and I’m not going to marver the bottom. Marveling sides there, you can see if flattens out a little bit. The bottom has a nice glow. Now, when I blow the bubble moves down into the bottom. It also blew out the sides a little bit. You’re always going to get some motion, but that’s okay because I’ve got a nice, thick bottom, the sides are nice and even and this bubble is looking pretty good.

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