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Encyclopedia > Glassblowing

Glassblowing is the process of forming glass into useful shapes while the glass is in a molten, semi-liquid state. A person who blows glass is called a glassblower, glassmith, or gaffer. This article is about the material. ...

Contents

History

While the first evidence of man-made glass occurs in Mesopotamia in the Late-Third/Early-Second Millennium BCE, the Phoenicians are generally credited with developing the art of glassblowing. The earliest known blown glass was found near Jerusalem, and dated circa 50-40 BCE. The blowing technique transformed the material's usefulness from a time consuming process, in which the medium was hot-formed around rough cores of mud and dung, into a mass-producible material which could be quickly inflated into large, transparent, and leak-proof vessels. Glassblowing techniques spread throughout the Roman world. Venice, particularly the island of Murano, became a centre for high quality glass manufacture in the late medieval period. Mesopotamia was a cradle of civilization geographically located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq. ... Phoenicia was an ancient civilization in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coastal plain of what is now Lebanon and Syria. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... For other uses, see Venice (disambiguation). ... A shop with boats, Murano Murano is usually described as an island in the Venetian Lagoon, although like Venice itself it is actually an archipelago of islands linked by bridges. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ...


The relatively recent "studio glass movement" began in 1962 when Harvey Littleton, a ceramics professor, and Dominick Labino, a chemist and engineer, held two workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art, during which they started experimenting with melting glass in a small furnace and creating blown glass art. Thus Littleton and Labino are credited with being the first to make molten glass available to artists working in private studios. This approach to glassblowing blossomed into a worldwide movement, producing such flamboyant and prolific artists as Dale Chihuly, Dante Marioni, Fritz Driesbach and Marvin Lipofsky. Lino Tagliapietra was among the first Murano-trained artists to leave and spread their knowledge in the United States. In 1971, Dale Chihuly began the Pilchuck Glass School near Stanwood, Washington. The Pilchuck School of Glass became the source of a great deal of the current American Studio Glass movement, and continues as such today. Harvey Littleton Harvey Littleton (b. ... Dominick Labino (1910-1987) born in Fairmount City, Pennsylvania Internationally-known artist, technologist, inventor, and master craftsman in glass. ... The Toledo Museum of Art is an internationally known art museum located in the Old West End neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio, United States. ... Dale Chihuly. ... Dante Marioni (b. ... Marvin Lipofsky (b. ... Lino Tagliapietra (b. ... Dale Chihuly. ... Widely recognized as the worlds premier glass school, Pilchuck was founded in 1971 by Dale Chihuly and modeled after the prestigous Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. ... Stanwood is a city located in Snohomish County, Washington. ...


Glassblowing is a form of art that requires lengthy training and intense concentration. In addition to glassblowing as an art, many individuals pursue glassblowing as a hobby. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing hobbies in North America.[citation needed]


Process

Reheating a piece

The transformation of raw materials into glass takes place around 2400°F (1315°C); the glass emits enough heat to appear almost white hot., the glass is then left to "fine out" (allowing the bubbles to rise out of the mass), and then the working temperature is reduced in the furnace to around 2000°F (1100°C). At this stage, the glass appears to be a bright orange color. Though most glassblowing is done between 1600°F - 1900°F (870°C - 1040°C), "Soda-lime" glass remains somewhat plastic and workable as low as 1350°F (730°C). Annealing is usually done between 800°F - 900°F (430°C - 480°C). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 121 KB) Summary A glass blower heating an item during creation. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 121 KB) Summary A glass blower heating an item during creation. ... Look up bubble in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Glassblowing involves three furnaces. The first, which contains a crucible of molten glass, is simply referred to as "the furnace." The second is called the "Glory Hole", and is used to reheat a piece in between steps of working with it. The final furnace is called the "lehr" or "annealer", and is used to slowly cool the glass, over a period of a few hours to a few days, depending on the size of the pieces. This keeps the glass from cracking due to thermal stress. Historically, all three furnaces were contained in one, with a set of progressively cooler chambers for each of the three purposes. Many glassblowing studios in Mexico and South America still employ this method. For other uses, see Crucible (disambiguation). ... Stress tensor In physics, stress is the internal distribution of forces within a body that balance and react to the loads applied to it. ...

Items for sale from the glass lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Items for sale from the glass lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The major tools involved are the blowpipe, the punty (or pontil), bench, marver, blocks, jacks, paddles, tweezers, and a variety of shears. The tip of the blowpipe is first preheated; then dipped in the molten glass in the furnace. The molten glass is 'gathered' on to the blowpipe in much the same way that honey is picked up on a dipper. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 665 KB) Photograph taken by Mary-Irene Lang I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 665 KB) Photograph taken by Mary-Irene Lang I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... “MIT” redirects here. ... A blowgun or blowpipe is a simple weapon consisting of a small tube for firing light projectiles, or darts. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article is about the boat propulsion implement, etc. ... Tweezers are tools used for picking up small objects that are not easily handled with the human hands. ... A small pair of shears A pair of shears is any scissors-type tool of relatively large size. ... For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation). ...

Glass created from complex murrine and zanfirico cane can possess a great deal of detail.
Glass created from complex murrine and zanfirico cane can possess a great deal of detail.

Then, this glass is rolled on the marver, which was traditionally a flat slab of marble, but today is more commonly a fairly thick flat sheet of steel. This forms a cool skin on the exterior of the molten glass and shapes it. Then air is blown into the pipe, creating a bubble. Then, one can gather over that bubble to create a larger piece. Blocks are ladle-like tools made from water-soaked fruit wood and are used similarly to the marver to shape and cool a piece in the early steps of creation. The bench is a glassblower's workstation, and has a place for the glassblower to sit, a place for the handheld tools, and two rails that the pipe or punty rides on while the blower works with the piece. Jacks are a tool shaped somewhat like large tweezers with two blades. Jacks are used for forming shape later in the creation of a piece. Paddles are flat pieces of wood or graphite used for creating flat spots like a bottom. Tweezers pick out details or to pull on the glass. There are two important types of shears, straight shears and diamond shears. Straight shears are essentially bulky scissors, used for making linear cuts. Diamond shears have blades that form a diamond shape when partially open. These are used for cutting off masses of glass. Once a piece has been blown to its approximate final size, the bottom is finalized. Then, the piece is transferred to a punty, and the top is finalized. There are many ways to apply patterns and color to blown glass, including rolling molten glass in powdered color or larger pieces of colored glass called frit. Complex patterns with great detail can be created through the use of cane (rods of colored glass) and murrine (rods cut in cross-sections to reveal patterns). These pieces of color can be arranged in a pattern and 'picked up' by rolling a bubble of molten glass over them. One of the most exacting and complicated caneworking techniques is 'reticello', which involves creating two bubbles from cane, each twisted in a different direction and then combining them and blowing out the final form. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (500x750, 187 KB) Work and image property of David Patchen. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (500x750, 187 KB) Work and image property of David Patchen. ... For other uses, see Marble (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Steel (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Scissors (disambiguation). ... Caneworking refers to a glassblowing technique that is used to add intricate patterns to vessels or other blown glass objects. ...


A lampworker, usually operating on a much smaller scale, historically used alcohol lamps and breath or bellows-driven air to create a hot flame at a workbench to manipulate preformed glass rods and tubes. These stock materials took form as laboratory glass, beads, and durable scientific "specimens" — miniature glass sculpture. The craft, which was raised to an art form in the late 1960's by Hans Godo Frabel (later followed by lampwork artists such as Milon Townsend and Robert Mickelson), is still practised today. The modern lampworker uses a flame of oxygen and propane or natural gas. The modern torch permits working both the soft glass from the furnace worker and the borosilicate glass (low-expansion) of the scientific glassblower who may have multiple headed torches and special lathes to help form the glass or fused quartz used for special projects. The molten glass is attached to a stainless steel or iron rod called a punty (or a punty rod, a pontil, or a mandrel) for shaping and transferring a hollow piece from the blowpipe for an opening to create from. Lampwork glass beads. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A large bellows creates a mushroom cloud at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. ... Hans Godo Frabel Hans Godo Frabel (b. ... General Name, symbol, number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series nonmetals, chalcogens Group, period, block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless (gas) pale blue (liquid) Standard atomic weight 15. ... Propane is a three-carbon alkane, normally a gas, but compressible to a liquid that is transportable. ... It has been suggested that Kimax be merged into this article or section. ... Conventional metalworking lathe In woodturning, metalworking, metal spinning, and glassworking, a lathe is a machine tool which spins a block of material so that when abrasive, cutting, or deformation tools are applied to the block, it can be shaped to produce an object which has rotational symmetry about an axis... A sphere manufactured by NASA out of fused quartz for use in a gyroscope in the Gravity Probe B experiment. ... The 630 foot (192 m) high, stainless-clad (type 304) Gateway Arch defines St. ... For other uses, see Iron (disambiguation). ...


External links

General glassblowing

Museums


  Results from FactBites:
 
Scientific Glassblowing Basics (5304 words)
To become an accomplished scientific glassblower in a research environment requires years of experience and exposure to the many fields of science.
Many scientific glassblowers in the United States learn their skills through an informal apprentice style program specific to the company or school they are associated with.
It does require the glassblower to hold and manipulate the torch around the glass tube that is held in a standard laboratory ring stand.
Glassblowing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1251 words)
Glassblowing is the process of forming glass into useful shapes while the glass is in a molten, semi-liquid state.
The bench is a glassblower's workstation, and has a place for the glassblower to sit, a place for the handheld tools, and two rails that the pipe or punty rides on while the blower works with the piece.
The molten glass is attached to a stainless steel or iron rod called a punty (or a punty rod, a pontil, or a mandrel) for shaping and transferring a hollow piece from the blowpipe for an opening to create from.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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