Josh B. ’16
There is something fun about playing with 2000 degree glass that has the consistency of honey.
You can make almost anything glassblowing. The process always starts the same way with a gather of glass on a metal rod, called a punty, from a furnace that is 2240 degrees fahrenheit. From there you can start to sculpt the glass by using various tools. You can even use wet newspaper between your hand and the glass as a barrier. Through the whole process of glassblowing you need to keep reheating the glass and spinning it so that it does not fall offline.
People make all sorts of things out of glass from simple cups to ornate coral reefs. The trickiest part of glassblowing is that the larger the item you make, the heavier it gets, sometimes up to 50 or more pounds. Once your piece is finished, then comes the scariest part: breaking your piece off of the punty. This is the spot where your work could just shatter to the ground, and you would have to start over. To break your piece off, you add some water to the spot where you want it to be broken and you whack the punty and your piece should come off.
If everything goes well you will have a finished piece in about 24 hours after it goes through the process of annealing. Once the process is complete you could have anything from a squid to a vase to a master work made of hundreds of separate blown pieces all put together.