What Is Blown Glass Art?
Glass blowing art is a unique technique of molding and shaping molten glass into various designs. Glass blowing craft has been around for centuries and dates back to 27 BC. It is done by blowing into the molten glass with the help of a blow tube and inflating it into a bubble. Then, the glass smith gives the blown glass a specific shape by precisely using different tools.
At Les Trois Pyramids, we utilize this technique to create several kinds of home decoration pieces. Modern light pendants, decanters, Christmas ornaments, glass vases, candle holders, table lamps, and more.
Process of Blowing Glass
The process requires diligence and precision. And we make sure to make all pieces according to your wish. Because for us, crafting glass is not just a job but a beloved legacy. Now we will take you on the journey of how we create perfect blown glass decoration pieces.
Collect Glass on the Pipe
First, glass is allowed to melt in the furnace. Once it is all in molten form, a punty or blow tube can be dipped in the glass. The blowpipe must be rotating when it is dipped in the furnace and even when it is taken out. The constant rotation of the blowpipe will keep the glass centered and aligned around the pipe.
We ensure that the pipe is warm, or else the glass will not stick. It can be achieved easily by putting the front of the blowpipe at the furnace entrance for a minute. The pipe is constantly rotated when it is inside the furnace to collect enough molten glass on it.
While backing up the pipe, keep it horizontal and slowly take it out of the molten glass. The whole process needs to be done with utmost care. At this point, glass is gathered on the blowpipe.
Add Some Color by Gathering Frits
Color is added to the glass with frits. Frits are glass in powdered form, and they come in different colors. According to the color chosen by the customer, various frits are used. Frits will be spread on the workbench.
The glass is rotated evenly on the frits at regular intervals. The blowpipe must be rotated constantly, so the glass does not droop to one side. After frits are collected, glass is heated near the furnace entrance to get frits at the same temperature as the glass.
Now we can move to the next step.
Center Your Glass to Blow the Bubble
This step is crucial to ensure the alignment of glass with the blowpipe. Glass can be centered with a tool or just by rotating it on the workbench. Put the blowpipe on the working bench to roll it evenly.
The glass must not touch the workbench while rolling. All the irregular glass will even out during the rolling process. There might be some part where glass is hanging off. It will also be smoothed out during rolling.
Finally, Blow the Bubble
After making sure that the glass is all smooth and centered, it is time to do the most fun thing; blowing the bubble in the glass.
The process is started by blowing into the blowing tube. The pipe’s entrance must be covered (after blowing) to trap the air in. The bubble should not be too big. During the blowing process, the pipe needs to be rotated constantly, so the glass stays even.
At this point, two people are required, one for constant rotation and the other for blowing air into the pipe. Once the glass is inflated, the thumb is removed from the pipe’s entrance.
Give Shape to Glass
After popping the bubble, it is time to give the desired shape to the decoration piece. There are various designs on the Les Trois Pyramids website from which customers can select. Custom pieces are also prepared on demand.
If the design is circular, then there is no issue because the bubble is already circular. However, if the design requires ridges or another shape, the glass is put into the mold and blown through the pipe to fill in the shape.
This step can be different for different designs and shapes.
Break It Off the Pipe
Now that the glass is in its shape, the next step is to break it off from the pipe. For this purpose, tweezers or sheers are used.
The sheers are set (without touching the glass) where the glass needs to be separated from the pipe.
The blowing pipe is vertical the whole time. Sheers are closed multiple times in a way that they hit the glass. Mostly a rotation of 360 degrees is completed. This creates several fracture points from where sheer hits the glass.
Frax is put under the glass before it breaks off completely. The back end of the sheers is hit on the pipe, which will separate the blown glass off the pipe.
Tweezers are used to even out the jagged end from where the glass broke off. The jagged end of the glass is turned in a way that makes a loop. This loop will be used to hang the decoration pieces afterward.
Annealing/ Oven Phase
Most of the hard work is now done. With the help of a narrow stick, decoration pieces are put into the annealer. It allows the pieces to be cooled down slowly. If the glass is not cooled off slowly, it may cause stress fractures throughout the body. So this step is essential.
It is also a way to embellish the blown glass pieces. Mostly acrylic enamel paint is used because it sticks well to the glass. Stamps can be used as well as designs made by hand. It all depends on what customers have demanded.
Mostly hand painting is done if frits were not added initially during the blowing process. Here is a video showing the process.
Voila! It's Done
After the detailed process of blowing glass, the decoration piece is finally done. It takes love, care, a lot of attention, and hard work to make even a single blown glass piece. This is exactly why we have shared our journey so you can get a glimpse of our passion for making these pieces.
Here is the list of tools used while blowing glass. If you have followed through the process of blowing, you will understand their purpose.
- Narrow Sticks
- Molten Glass
Customized Products and Limited Offers
You can send us requests and pictures for customized products, and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss the details.
Keep on checking the Les Trois Pyramids website to benefit from limited offers and discounts like free delivery and more.