Glassblowing for Beginners

Video Lectures

Displaying all 35 video lectures.
Lecture 1
Introduction to Glassblowing
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Introduction to Glassblowing
Hi, my name is Ed Donovan I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal-casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It is an amazing substance and today I'm gonna be talking to you about glass-blowing. It's taking this molten material and transforming it however your imagination tells you you want it to look like. Creating anything you want, it's an amazing material. I've been doing it for 6 years and I absolutely love it, and I don't think if I were to continue doing this for a life time that I would ever be able to experience all of the ways that I could manipulate glass. Adding color, shapes and forms, all of these things take years to master, and yet at the same time it's always exciting. I'm in love with the process and I think that's the most important thing about glass and glass blowing. Being in love with the actual process of making something. The end result, obviously I mean everybody wants that thing to exist and be really beautiful, and yet there's so many things that can go wrong in the process that you kind of have to let that go and just be in love with the actual process of getting there and putting it away in an atelier. And then when that atelier comes down to room temperature and you can pick it up and hold it then you can be in love with the thing. I always tell students if you want to be successful at glass blowing you can’t think about the end result as much as the actual process of getting there. So in order to teach that we have these little basic steps that we start with caterpillars and then we move on to actually getting on a blowpipe. The caterpillars, or snowmen we call them, are solid so that you are basically just learning to use the jacks to do the constriction, getting used to turning the pipe and keeping your glass on center. Which is just one of the basic necessities you have to be able to turn the pipe and keep the glass on center. You start to develop an ambidexterity you really have to use both your hand at the same time doing two completely different things. It's like the old little trick that you learn in grade school, rubbing your stomach and patting your head, glass blowing is like that.
Lecture 2
What Tools Do You Need?
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What Tools Do You Need?
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Hi, my name's Ed Donovan, I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility, we want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It's an amazing substance. And today, I'm going to be talking to you about glass blowing. So what do you need to be a glass blower? Essentially, you need a studio space - fairly large, you have quite a bit of equipment that you need to use. The most important, obviously, is a furnace, because without the furnace you don't have molten glass. The furnace is any size, we have a crucible that holds 500 pounds of glass, but you can certainly get them quite a bit smaller than that. They even have what's called a day furnace, which you can turn on and off at the time that you're going to use it. If you're not going to be using molten glass every day, you can literally turn it on when you need it. It does take a while to heat up. Our furnace, at 500 pounds, usually takes, from room temperature, approximately a week to get up to working temperature, which is 2080 degrees. Also the glory hole, or the reheating furnace, you can't do glass without that because glass cools very quickly, and when it's cool you can't shape it, so it has to be hot. So you have the glory hole, your basic working space is your bench, and on your bench your hand tools: your jacks, tweezers, straight shears and diamond shears. Also newspaper, if you would like to use that as a shaping tool. And then also your blocks you need, varying sizes of blocks depending on how big you're going to make your glass. Each time you gather you, of course, increase the volume of glass exponentially, and therefore it's a block that you need, a larger and larger block each time you gather. You also need, essentially, the very least, one small annealer, and an annealer is where the glass cools down. So you start with 2080 degrees, as you work the glass and finish and put the piece away its at roughly around 15 to 1400 degrees. And so the annealer, which is sitting at about a thousand degrees, over about a twelve hour period depending on the size and the thickness of the pieces that you're using, or putting into it, will bring that down to room temperature, over about a twelve to fourteen hour period. Those are the basic tools necessary to be a glass blower.
Lecture 3
How to Find a Class
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How to Find a Class
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal-casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It is an amazing substance and today I'm gonna be talking to you about glass-blowing. To find a glass-blowing class, the web has become an essential tool. Uh, DC Glass Works is on the web at dcglassworks.com and, uh, I think if you do a web search, uh, for glass blowing in your area, you might find your university, uh, will have a glass blowing facility that they will possibly let you use. Uh, there's also probably some private studios that if you get to know, the owner's might let you come in and use their facilities. More than likely, you're gonna find a private studio that is doing glass blowing in your area. They may or may not offer classes. You can certainly approach them under the guise of being an assistant or learning through, um, helping as an assistant, uh, if they don't offer any type of a class, and, uh, also the way that I started, when I came to the area there was, uh, art shows and in the art show was glass and I just looked at the label to who was producing the glass and that was how I actually started my web search. I was actually looking for a particular artist and I found out where that, where that was that they were working. Uh, it's a pretty expensive endeavor to set up a glass studio, uh, but just doing a little bit of research, you'll probably find some way to, uh, get some information on glass blowing in your area and whether or not classes are offered.
Lecture 4
How to Find a Job
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How to Find a Job
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal-casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It is an amazing substance and today I'm gonna be talking to you about glass-blowing. Glass blowing is kind of one of those things you can find, uh, assistantships. A lot of glass blowers, gaffers we call ourselves, will hire people in order to give them assistance in their making glass because it's really more of a team oriented kind of endeavor. I think it's much more fun when you're working with a team. Uh, so to get a job with a gaffer, uh, who needs assistants is one way to go. Uh, you can also work on a cruise ship if you have a lot of experience. There are three ships, I believe, that have hot shops on them. Um, that would be kinda fun. I always thought that would be a pretty cool thing too. Um, there's also teaching in a glass blowing facility such as this one that you could, uh, learn, uh, or teach students how to blow glass. That would be a really great job. Primarily, I think most glass artists create their own jobs just by getting good enough to create pieces that are - people are willing to buy and then finding either a gallery or consignment shop, uh, or even doing weekend fairs; craft fairs and so forth and traveling with your art that you've created and selling it for yourself so that you, um, you basically create your own job.
Lecture 5
How to Pick a Kit
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How to Pick a Kit
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Hi, my name’s Ed Donovan and I am here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glassblowing facility, we also do metal and metal casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glassblowing, it’s an amazing substance and today, I’m going to be talking to you about glassblowing. Uh, how to choose a glassblowing kit. Uh, there’s not a lot of options. Um, your hand tools, there’s a, a few really quality makers. Uh, again, you’re probably gonna want to do a web search to find some uh retail outlets for the tools that uh that are made for glassblowers. They’re pretty highly specialized, they’re fairly expensive, um your, your tools are all sold individually, so there’s not really a kit per se. Uh, but basically what you want your jacks, uh and they come in a couple of different sizes but your standard size would be a nine inch blade. Uh, your tweezers which also come in uh three different sizes or there are even more than that but your typical medium size tweezers uh, one straight sheer, uh again a medium sheer size uh, and then again, the diamond sheer uh is a is a standard, there’s three sizes for those uh small, medium, large. You would probably choose a medium. So your standard kit for glassblowing uh includes those four basic hand tools and if you set those up on your bench you should be able to do pretty much um all of the beginning and even the most of the, most advanced uh aspects of glassblowing with the basic set-up kit.
Lecture 6
How to Rent a Studio
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How to Rent a Studio
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal-casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It is an amazing substance and today I'm gonna be talking to you about glass-blowing. Renting a glass studio, it should be really easy. All you need to do is find a studio in your area, and if they do have rentals, then you want to contact them, let them know what you're interested in. Here at DC GlassWorks, it is a very simple procedure. Once you've taken a class with us or illustrated your ability to blow glass, you go to our website, you click on our calendar and just send us a email to our rental keep. What he'll do is put you on the calendar for your designated slot. Essentially, the information that you want to know or give to the studio, is what time you want to rent, typically when you're renting, there is a minimum that you have to rent. For our studio, it is 3 hours. As you can see, there is a lot of preparation that goes into getting it ready for you to rent. Let's say I want to work at 10 to 2. At 9 o clock, someone will be here to start that glory hole, set the tools on the bench for you if you are going to use the shop's tools. Everything takes time to come up the temperature. So it's very important to follow the shop's rules. Shop rules can be very vague, to very specific. Renting a studio should be very straightforward. You just want to contact the studio, find out their basic requirements, the time minimums and maximums, and how much glass they allow you to use. At our studio, we have a maximum of 25 pounds which is a lot.
Lecture 7
Where Is the Best Glassblowing Museum?
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Where Is the Best Glassblowing Museum?
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Hi. My name's Ed Donovan. I'm here at DC Glassworks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glassblowing facility. We also do metal, metal casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glassblowing. It's an amazing substance.

Today I'm going to be talking to you about glassblowing. The best glassblowing museum in my vote is Corning, Corning Glass in New York. Fantastic museum. It's not the only one. There's a fantastic museum also in Tacoma, Washington. A lot of people are familiar with the name of Tacoma or Seattle. It's associated a lot with glassblowing. I think their climate definitely attributes to their great glassblowing. It's a cool, wet climate a lot of the time, so fantastic for glassblowers.

And there's facilities around the world that would be world-class glass museums, but again, Corning, New York, gets my vote as the best. They've got an amazing collection of glass from just about the beginning of time as far as glassblowing is concerned. All the way through to modern techniques for glass and glassblown vessels. So in Corning, New York. I definitely recommend a visit up there. You can see demonstrations by some fantastic glassblowers up there, buy some fantastic glass. Visit the city, which also has amazing glassblowers located in the town because it's just such a well known name in glass.
Lecture 8
How Much Do Glassblowing Artists Make?
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How Much Do Glassblowing Artists Make?
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal-casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It is an amazing substance and today I'm gonna be talking to you about glass-blowing. How much does a glass-blower make? Man that's such a great question. For me almost nothing. I don’t, I don't really have a sales per say, like my annual, if I were to, a starving artist is a really good way to describe a glass blower. There are some really successful glass blowers who make an amazing amount of money and if you look at the individual prices of an individual piece because glass is so labor intensive and so expensive to produce all of the equipment that you see is very expensive. The time it takes you to produce is extensive, the cost in order to make a piece of glass is pretty high. So when you see it in a shop you think “wow that's a pretty high price for a piece of glass, if I were to be making those I could make a lot of money,” there's an amazing video on the web that I saw that kind of pokes fun at people's fanciful idea of how much money you can make in glass. And it was saying something along the lines of well, if I sold a pumpkin for $35 I could make a hundred pumpkins a day that's like $3,000 I could make so many pumpkins and sell them. Well the problem is where are you selling all these pumpkins you are making? That's kind of the trick. There’s a huge range in how much a glass blower can make, and so the idea that you can make this one thing and make it really well and make it really quickly is certainly kind of an alluring thing. Yet since it is expensive your clientele is probably not so extensive, so you need to be very careful about what you think you are gonna be making in glass blowing. I think it’s more important in my opinion to make glass because you love making glass; and after that then you can hopefully find someone who likes you made glass as well as you liked making it and therefore making money.
Lecture 9
Is Glassblowing School Necessary?
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Is Glassblowing School Necessary?
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal-casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It is an amazing substance and today I'm gonna be talking to you about glass-blowing. So do you need to go to class or glass-blowing school in order to be a glass blower? Yeah, kind of. Um, there's not a lot of common sources of information for glass and it's certainly not a natural material to work with. It's blazing hot. Um, it takes, uh, a little bit of information to get to know the material. You want some tricks. You want some tips, um, from an instructor. Regardless of whether it's a university or a more informal setting like we provide here at DC GlassWorks, uh, you don't have to spend a lot of money learning how to blow glass, uh, but you definitely want somebody sharing with you the ideas that make glass blowing the very basic understood - the basic understandings you want to get from somebody. Uh, trying to figure it out on your own would be really prohibitively expensive. Um, it would take you quite a bit of time and I think you would get very frustrated, uh, not having any idea of what you're supposed to be doing. Uh, so just even just a six-week basic course or, uh, we offer weekend workshops, in which we teach you the basics. After that, you can come in and experiment; have fun with it. It's an amazing material. Um, you don't have to learn a whole lot from a university or a structured course, but it's really important to get the very basics so you have an understanding of how to use the tools; how to use the glory hole; how to use all of the varying things that make glass blowing possible. Um, I think without that basic knowledge you'd be kinda lost.
Lecture 10
How to Use a Blow Pipe
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How to Use a Blow Pipe
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan. I'm here at DC GlassWorks, you can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility. We also do metal and metal casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing, it's an amazing substance. And today I'm going to be talking to you about glass blowing. The blow pipe, it's fundamental in glass blowing. Without it you can't really do anything because you have to use it in order to put air into the bubble. It is a hollow steel tube which you're going to blow into at this end here. Essentially when you first pick up your blow pipe you want to check it by blowing through the end, just like I just did, to make sure that there's no trapped glass on the end of it here. Which would be really frustrating if you were to put your glass on here and then not be able to add air to the bubble and not knowing why. So, always blow through it- basic steps to understanding what you want to do with the blow pipe. Now, the other thing is you want this tip here to be warm before you go into the furnace to gather. So, you're going to insert that into the glory hole to give it a little bit of heat before we start gathering glass. That does two things: One, if there's any excess glass here from the previous user on here, putting it in the glory hole is going to shock that glass, it's going to pop off, and then its going to heat the tip of the pipe here so that when you gather your glass you're going to have a nice even gather on here. If you go in with a cold pipe you're more than likely going to get bubbles, so you always want to do a little bit of a preheat on the end. And the other thing that you really want to be aware of when you're using a blow pipe, it's super important it's more about the glass than the pipe but you have to keep the pipe turning. The glass is going to react to the turn, it's also reacting to gravity at all times so you just want to make sure that your pipe is constantly turning. You're holding the pipe left handed, underhand, right hand, over-hand. And you're keeping it waist level so it's comfortable and you're keeping it nice and level. And those are essentially the basics of pipe handling.
Lecture 11
6 Tips, Tricks & Techniques
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6 Tips, Tricks & Techniques
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Hi my name’s Ed Donovan and I’m here at DC GlassWorks you can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility we also metal and metal casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing it’s an amazing substance and today I’m going to be talking to you about glass blowing. When you come into a glass shop there are certain things that you should do to prepare yourself. One, you want to make sure your bench is set up, all the tools that you’re going to need are on the bench and ready and clean, meaning that on your shears and your tweezers you don’t have any wax so that when you’re trying to use them they’re slipping off the glass and that there is wax on your jack so on the jacks you’re going to preheat them, add a little beeswax and so forth. If you want to use newspaper while you’re working you want to make sure that you make that and that it’s available and wet when you start and you want to make sure all the block sizes that you’re going to be using are in the bucket and ready for you so you’re not running around the shop like a wild man saying, it’s too big, I need another block, I need a bigger block. So you want to prepare your bench, make sure you’re ready to go. The other thing is when you pick up the blowpipe it’s really important to blow through it to make sure that it’s clean. You don’t want to have glass plugging the end of it because that’s really frustrating when you go to blow your bubble and you can’t do that because it’s plugged at the end so make sure that’s clear by blowing through it and then you always want to preheat the tip of the pipe so that when you’re gathering you don’t get a lot of bubbles on a cold pipe and the glass doesn’t really stick too well to the cold steel so just a little bit of a rosy glow on the end. You also don’t want to overheat the pipe, overheating the pipe is really bad for the steel and it doesn’t help you gather any glass that’s for sure. When these are cooling down, the pipes and everything in the studio are cooling down, you’re going to be having glass shattering and popping off things so it’s really important, you only have a set of eyes, you don’t want to lose one to a piece of glass flying off so, safety glasses, cotton clothing, closed-toed shoes, you want to make sure your toes are protected from anything that might be falling, hot water, hot glass off the pipes, hot water especially, I mean, it’s amazing when you’re sitting at the bench and you might get a little too close or you pick a pipe out of the water and a drop of water falls on your shoe, if you’re wearing even sneakers, those nylon mesh sneakers, that water is hot.
Lecture 12
How to Shape Glass
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How to Shape Glass
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal-casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It is an amazing substance and today I'm gonna be talking to you about glass-blowing. There’s a lot of techniques for shaping glass. Uh, the first one you’re gonna use when you gather your initial gather is the marver. Uh, its’ essentially a steel table, pretty thick table so that it doesn’t get overly hot too fast and uh change in its shape so usually it’s at least a half inch to three quarter inch steel uh plate that’s uh been ground and polished. Uh, it’s used in a very simple manner, you’re gonna lower your right hand and turn quickly over the surface of the steel and as you lift your hands up to level, you’re pushing the glass off the end of the pipe creating a nice cylinder on the end of the pipe. Uh, that’s the most basic use of the marver and shaping the glass. Other techniques for shaping glass are the newspaper uh, which is just uh essentially a piece of newspaper that you get at any news box, you fold it a certain way uh then get it wet and as long as it stays wet, uh you can use that to shape the glass, essentially the glass is riding on the steam that’s created by the wet newspaper. Um, also the jacks; very, very important tool, the very the most basic tool for glassblowing that you have. Every bench has to have one. And then the blocks, which are usually a fruit wood, and they are always kept wet. They’re also used in a similar manner as the newspaper. The steam that’s created by the water in the block allows the glass to slide. Uh, you always want to keep the newspaper and the blocks wet so that the steam is kept constantly generated. If the newspaper or the block becomes too dry, they just start to burn and that burning ember from the wood or the newspaper will stick to your glass and it will mar the glass. It will actually create a cloud on your glass that’s uh impossible to get away. So you always want to make sure that you’re wetting your blocks and your newspapers. Um and those are the uh essential shaping tools for glass.
Lecture 13
4 Glory Hole Tips
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4 Glory Hole Tips
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan I'm here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glass blowing facility, we also do metal and metal-casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing. It is an amazing substance and today I'm gonna be talking to you about glass-blowing. The glory hole or the re-heating furnace is your working heat source. After you have gathered from the furnace, the glass is continually cooling, and in order to shape it the way you want to, it needs to be hot; it needs to be at least 1500 to 1800 degrees. Uh, so in order to keep that temperature, we're using the re-heating furnace or the glory hole. Uh, in front of the glory hole is a yoke and you're using that, uh, to support the weight of the pipe, and it's also helping you keep your hands back away from the heat. Uh, so you're gonna set the pipe down on the yoke; slide your glass into the furnace; and turn nice and slow inside the furnace. Uh, when you're turning, if, if your glass is really hot, your centrifugal force can expand or change the shape of your glass. So you want to make sure that in the heat, you're turning nice and slow - very consistent slow turns. Once you've, uh, reached a temperature of the glass that you're comfortable with, uh, that's hot enough to maneuver the glass in the way that you want to at the bench, slowly bring the yoke back toward you, slide your left hand forward to support the weight of the pipe and then pick it up continuing to turn with your fingertips while you move back to the bench. Uh, that's how we use the glory hole effectively.
Lecture 14
How to Use Puffers & Steam Sticks
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How to Use Puffers & Steam Sticks
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Hi my name is Ed Donovan. I'm here at DC GlassWorks, you can find us at dcglassworks.com We are a public access glassblowing facility. We also do metal, and metal-casting, and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility, we want to share with people the magic of glassblowing; it's an amazing substance. And today, I'm gonna be talking to you about glassblowing! Steam sticks and puffers. Essentially the steam sticks and puffers do the exact same thing. They're totally different devices, but they are used on the piece to expand the neckline of the piece after you've transferred to the punty. You're not on the blowpipe, you don't have any way of really adding air anymore to the top of the vessel and yet you want the top of the vessel to be larger than it is. You DON'T want to use the jacks because you don't want any more rounded shape on the top. In order to do that we use steam sticks and puffers. The steam stick is essentially exactly what it sounds like. It's a stick shaped like a cone (in the shape of a cone). It's kept wet and when you put it at the neckline of the piece you are creating a seal at the top of the vessel with the steam stick. The wet, wet wood creates the steam inside the vessel because its very hot and that steam causes the expansion on the part of the piece that you've heated; therefor, making it expand. The puffers are a similar device but they are using air and you can either have a two-man or a one-man puffer. It's a conical-steel shape on the end of a tube. For the one-man, it's a vent tube so you can hold it and blow into it as well. Or the straight, which is the two-man, the gaffer will put the piece into the neckline, then your assistant will blow. The puffer takes a lot of force of air, generally. You have to create a nice little seal with the puffer. It's very important that your neckline is ready to receive the puffer or the steam stick. The shape is very important, the regularity of that is very important, and the heat of course is very important in the glass; because the part of the glass that's hot, obviously, is the part that is going to move.
Lecture 15
How to Use Tweezers to Shape Glass
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How to Use Tweezers to Shape Glass
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Hi, my name is Ed Donovan. We are here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com We are a public access glassblowing facility. We also do metal, and metal casting, and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the "magic" of glassblowing; it's an amazing substance. Today, I'm going to be talking you about glassblowing and the use of tweezers. We basically use the tweezers to grab hold of things, or to pull on the glass. They're held with your thumb and forefinger. Usually you want to hold pretty close to the tip so you have a good grasp of the tweezers and also you have a lot of control over the tip of the tweezers. You DON'T want to be holding too far back or you're not going to be able to squeeze the tweezers together. They're a very springy steel, they're usually a fairly, very heavy gauge steel. If your hands are not strong enough, if you're grabbing the end you'll be able to squeeze down with the tweezers. You're going to grab pipes and punty rods, and/or the glass, to manipulate those[them] into the places you want the glass to be (or the pipe to be). When you're assembling the punty to the bottom of the piece your going to grab the punty rod and try and find the bottom of the piece. When you attach the punty to the bottom of the piece, you're also gonna use your tweezers as your knock-off device. When you're ready to actually transfer from the blowpipe to the punty and you've attached the punty to the bottom of the piece, you're going to use the backs of the tweezers to tap on the pipe; and therefor creating the stress in the glass that separates the pipe. That's how you use your tweezers!
Lecture 16
How to Use Jacks & Pacioffis
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How to Use Jacks & Pacioffis
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Hi, my name’s Ed Donovan and I am here at DC GlassWorks. You can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public access glassblowing facility, we also do metal and metal casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glassblowing. It’s an amazing substance and today, I’m going to be talking to you about glassblowing. Uh, using the jacks in glassblowing is uh a difficult skill to learn. Uh remember glass is a liquid and it’s very, very hot and it should be pretty fluid when you’re using uh when you are working it. Uh, so the jack's primary purpose is cutting in what we call the jack line which is essentially the, the constriction at the end of the pipe or the top of the bubble that you're gonna use to separate the vessel from the blowpipe on to the punty. Uh, it’s also used for shaping the sidewalls uh the handling of the jacks is your uh open palm with your fingers wrapped around one handle with your, with your thumb on the other and your very, very gently squeezing into the glass as your rotating the pipe and the rotation of the pipe is critical. You never want to stop rotating the pipe if you do stop rotating the pipe or when you come to the end of the bench and you need to reverse your rotations you want to let up on the pressure of your jacks just a little bit so that you don’t create any kind of a flat line. Remember we’re working rounds and our jacks are flat, they’re just two blade straight edges uh, so your rotation is very important in keeping a round uh surface of your glass by the rotations. Uh so the other use of the jack is as a cooling device very similar to the marver table. The back of the jack is a flat metal uh so you can use that to shape the bottom or cool the glass in a location that you need to uh remember steel takes heat out of glass very quickly. Uh, then we also have what’s called a pacioffis, which are also jacks but they’re a wood blade as opposed to a metal blade and uh they’re used uh primarily in shaping bowls because they don’t take so much heat out of the glass and they’re a little bit gentler they have a a more dull or blunted end uh so that they’re not digging into the glass in in making bowls and your trying to make a very nice even gradual shape on the sides of the bowls and it would be very difficult to do that with a very uh straight and pointed metal tip so we use a wooden tip instead for uh bowl formation.
Lecture 17
How to Use Diamond & Straight Shears
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How to Use Diamond & Straight Shears
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Hi, my name's Ed Donovan, I'm here at DC Glass Works, you can find us at dcglassworks.com. We are a public-access glass blowing facility. We also do metal and metal casting and welding. We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glass blowing, it's an amazing substance. And today, I'm going to be talking to you about glass blowing. Straight shears and diamond shears are the tools that we have for cutting glass. Uh, the straight shears are much more similar to like a standard scissor that you would find in a household, uh, and then the diamond shears are going to be, uh, a shear that looks like a diamond blade and it constricts the glass. Uh, those are the two basic ideas. Uh, they're both, uh, very different in the way that they function, uh, and you, of course, are gonna choose the tool that's right for what your application is. The straight shears come in varying lengths on the blade, um, and depending on what you're working on, you're gonna choose the specific size of shear that you have. Typically, a bench is only gonna have one size shear on it for the basic set up, uh, but if you're a more advanced user, you're gonna be able to buy whatever size, uh, shear that you would like. Um, when you're handling the shears, you want to use just the ends of your fingertips cuz it's very important to get the shears all the way open and then closing them almost all the way closed. If you close them all the way closed, uh, it's really harder to get into kind of a nice, even rhythm with the shears so you want to make sure that you're just half-way closed or three quarters of the way closed and then wide open and just kind of moving through the glass. Remember, it's kind of a liquid and the hotter you have the glass, the easier it is to cut it, uh, so you wanna make sure that you're able to get through with a nice, even motion. You gotta keep that glass moving as you're cutting it, uh, or using the shears in what we call a color drop. Uh, whatever application you're using - a cookie fit on the marble, perhaps, uh, all of these different things requiring the use of either the diamond shear or the straight shear.
Lecture 18
How to Get Started
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How to Get Started
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Hello my name is Todd Hansen and we are here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about 12 years now. I got several different lines of glasswork that I work on and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing The best way to get started with glass blowing is to find a studio with lots of friendly, helpful people. What you want to find is a place where people can answer questions for you pretty easily, and they got a pretty good instructor program. Something where they got a curriculum and outlining the work, so it makes a lot of sense. So what you're probably going to do when you start blowing glass, is start off getting a couple of solid gathers on a pipe. This just gives you a chance to be accustomed to the furnace, the hand tools, and how you're really going to get yourself around the studio. Once you've mastered those basic techniques, take a blow pipe, take your first couple of gathers and you're going to shape those. You can block them, marvel them, whatever it takes to get them into a parison shape, then do just an easy blowing cap and that's just by blowing a small amount of air and trapping it with your fingertips. You'll have the heat of the glass actually form a bubble. Just go easy with it. Start off with a small couple of gathers. Reheat with the glory hold, try the jacks. Be sure you don't pinch the neck down all the way. You don't want to close that bubble off. Once you get the bubble blowing out, start swinging it a little bit, stretch it, see if you can get a cylinder out of it. Something simple like a tumbler. Flatten the bottom, put a penny on it, turn it around, and start using the jack scoping it off. Nice and easy. If you ever have trouble getting the glass to move, you can always go back and reheat.
Lecture 19
History of Glassblowing
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History of Glassblowing
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Hello, my name is Todd Hansen. We're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about twelve years now. I've got several different lines of glasswork that I work on, and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. Historically, glass blowing's been around for at least, or glass working, has been around for at least thirty-five hundred years in various forms. It's thought that the first merchants who sailed around the Mediterranean were the ones to actually love glass. They would build their campfires when they would pull their boats on shore and build their fires to cook and they'd set their pots on blocks of natria or sodium. In certain locations, the glass, the sand underneath them was just right, the fire would be hot enough that it would melt the natria a little bit and the chemical reaction would actually form little streams of glass flowing down from underneath the pots. Some of them smart enough to figure out how that could be done on a repeatable basis, small solid forms were made. Around two thousand years ago the Romans were basically - I think the Romans are pretty well credited with really industrializing glass blowing, they gave us the two-bladed jacks that are so versatile to glass blowers now. They really industrialized the glass blowing process, made it more accessible for the common folk. Here in the US, around the sixties, the early sixties, the studio art glass movement became re-energized. Prior to that time, glass blowers were working in factories, but with small batches of glass and smaller furnaces, glass blowers were able to take their work into their own studios and do their own designs and creations. And now what we have, with the results of Harvey Littleton, Dominic Lubino, and those folks who started that movement, we have studios around the country and individual artists being able to create their own work.
Lecture 20
What is Glass Art?
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What is Glass Art?
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Hello my name’s Todd Hansen, we’re here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I’ve been a glassblower for about twelve years now, I’ve got several different lines of glass work that I work on and I’ll be talking to you about glass blowing. Glass blowing is as versatile as any other art form, you have painters that do different styles, ceramists mold different forms, glass is no different, whether it’s in the eye of the beholder or not, glass can be a really, collectible, valuable, beautiful thing, it’s an aesthetic that you enjoy. I can look at technical pieces of work from Venetian glass blowers and just be dumbfounded by how they did it, then you look at something that’s a whole other style of glass working, it can be a really large piece with lots of color in that’s just as beautiful so it really depends on what you like and what you collect, there are paperweights that are mind boggling there are tumblers that are really beautiful there’s lots of things for different people to collect and buy, many different glass blowers as there are, there are that many styles of glassblowing being done, so the best way to find something that you think it s artistic and beautiful is go out to the studios in your area and support your local artists.
Lecture 21
History of Handblown Glass
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History of Handblown Glass
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Hello, my name’s Todd Hansen. We’re here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glassblowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I’ve been a glass blower for about twelve years now, I’ve got several different lines of glasswork that I work on, and I’ll be talking to you about glassblowing. Hand blown glass has been around for, at least, 2000 years uh when the Romans started really industrializing and modernizing tools. Um re-differentiate between the glass blown and hand blown uh versus machine blown or mold blown, and it’s a big difference. Uh, if you look at the bottom of a sticker of a piece, and it says hand blown, then it should be hand formed as well. If you see something that says mouth blown, your piece is probably blown into a mold um, technically that’s correct but as far as being handmade or not is uh, that’s probably debatable. But before the advent of molds and machinery and equipment that can grind and polish uh a uh work off uh hand blown, hand formed glass was how it’s been done for thousands and thousands of years. And that’s the style of glasswork that we practice here um. We do things from start to finish by hand using heat, gravity, centrifugal force and hand tools that have been uh created and used by glassblowers for generations. And it’s just a satisfying feeling to make something truly by hand that’s actually a piece of your work, um you know if you look at something that’s got the spun marks on it or something that looks like it came from a mold if it’s uh you know the dozen’s or so behind it then it probably was. If you find something that’s got a little bit more unique quality to it, that’s probably a hand-made piece and that’s got a little more character to it. That’s the kind of glass we like, that’s the kind of glass we make.
Lecture 22
Can Glassblowing Be Done at Home?
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Can Glassblowing Be Done at Home?
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Hello, my name is Todd Hansen. We are here at the fire Art of Fire Temporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I’ve been a glass blower for about twelve years now. I’ve got several different lines of glass work that I work on and I’ll be talking to you about glass blowing. If you wanted to do glass blowing at home, you could probably do it on a really limited budget with a very small space. You’d have to be really careful how you handle this equipment because you’ve got a lot of heat, you need adequate ventilation. Really, you are generating a lot of BTU’s so it’s going to be, uh, it might be a little bit cost prohibitive so you want to be careful how you do it because it really does take a lot of time and take a lot of energy. You can get a small, uh, a small electric furnace, a small electric kiln, to melt coalit, which is clear glass that has already been melted, so you’re basically recycling somebody, uh, someone’s clear glass to make yours. Small glory hole, you could build that, uh, maybe 8 or 10 inch diameter but it’s going to run through a lot of propane so I’d be careful about how you handle your material and how you handle your energy. Don’t forget you need something you can also kneel with. And an electric kneeler is something you need to run. It’s not only cooling the glass down after you’ve made it but it’s going to have to run while you’re making the pieces as well. So you’re going to have to look at 12 or 14 hours of running an electric furnace or electric kiln while you’re cooling your glass. So there are a lot of factors to consider. Electric consumption isn’t the only concern but it’s probably the biggest chunk of the budget you’re going to have after you buy your equipment. So you’re going to need a lot, you’re going to have a lot to think about and people do it but it just takes a serious element to the art.
Lecture 23
Glassblowing Safety
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Glassblowing Safety
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Hello my name is Todd Hansen. We are here at The Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio here in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're online at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about 12 years now. I've got several different lines of glass work that I work on and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. One of the things when you're in the studio, especially when you're walking around with hot glass, is be very aware of what's happening around you. You need to pay attention to, not only what you're doing, but what the other glass blowers are doing in the studio as well. So, before you get up from the bench or before you leave the glory hole or head to the furnace, always take a quick look around to see who's doing what. Make sure you're not going to collide or at least even come close to each other. Just be careful of what you're doing. You always want to be careful about what you do with the tools as well. Anything in the shop can be hot, a lot of stuff in the shop can be sharp as well. Some things are both, they are hot and sharp. So, you always want to make sure when you approach, if you're going to pick up a tool from the bench or if you're going to pick up a pipe, don't just grab it and run. Take it, it's not a bad idea to give it a little pat and then make sure you're safe and good to go. Likewise, if you see some glass on the floor, it's wise to just be very careful about that. Again, you don't know who was working, when they were working and the last thing you want to do is pick something up, give a good grip to it and end up with a nice big burn or blister on your hand, or god forbid something worse. Always be careful, be careful what's going on around you, be aware of what everyone else is doing and you should have a good, safe experience.
Lecture 24
How Hot Does the Glass Get?
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How Hot Does the Glass Get?
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Hello, my name is Todd Hansen and we're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We are at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about twelve years now. I have several different lines of glasswork that I work on, and I will be talking to you about glasswork. The glass in the furnace is going to be 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, but that's not the only temperature that we've got to worry about. A lot of things we do to get the glass prepped ,actually to melt raw material, the raw batch like we do, we're gonna run that furnace up to about 2300 degrees Fahrenheit to get the glass to actually turn from solid pure mix state to a liquid form. So we're gonna push the glass up to a pretty high temperature. When you work on a glass back and forth the bench and the glass is going to cool down enough to actually become fairly solid. Not quite cold so it would not move at all, but it will cool enough that it will be really hard to work with, and that's gonna be around 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. And you'll see it from the incandescence the glass will turn from a really bright orange straight from the furnace, to a dull yellow, and how you know it is really time to go back to get a reheat. Glory holes generally run around 2300 degrees all day, and that brings up the glass to work in temperature very very quickly. We've got to get it flowing so it would move easily. You don't want to force it so you've got to really heat up the glass to move it. Once you're finished with a piece, well, we'll put that glass away in the annealers around 900 degrees Fahrenheit. We'll turn those off at the end of the day, allow the glass to cool slowly over night. By the time we come back in, in the morning, the glass in the anneal should be around 200 degrees. We'll lift the lids, leave the glass to cool down a little bit further so we could actually handle it safely. We'll put those pieces away, we'll sign them and we'll start the day off again. We'll light the annealers, we'll light the glory holes to a little bit higher temperature, and we're back to that 2000 degrees again and working in the studio.
Lecture 25
How to Pick Supplies
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How to Pick Supplies
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Hello my name is Todd Hansen we are here at The Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio here in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're online at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about 12 years now. I've got several different lines of glass work that I work on and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. There are several vendors around the country that supply colored glass, tools, things like that. Probably the most important thing is to make sure that the equipment you are using, especially the glass color, is compatible with the glass you are working with and you can find that out from the manufacturer. If you are looking for tools that's gonna be more of a personal preference, but there are several suppliers here that make really nice blocks, jacks, sheers, things like that. I think probably the easiest way to do it is just get on the internet and start searching for glass blowing tools. If you've got friends who do this or if you've got a studio that you have accessibility to then go in and talk to the people who work with the tools everyday. Everybody is gonna have a personal preference they're gonna tell you why they like a certain tool and why they don't like another one. So it's best just to ask someone before you make the investment. These tools aren't cheap: some jacks can run you $300 and some sheers can easily be $200. So depending on what you are buying you can really put some serious money down and you want to make sure you are getting something that really works for you so talk to people who do glass blowing, talk to instructors you work with, and others that you might know and ask them what they like and why they like it.
Lecture 26
How to Dress for Class
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How to Dress for Class
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Hello, my name is Todd Hansen. We are here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about twelve years now. I've got several different lines of glasswork that I work on, and I will be talking to you about glassblowing If you're gonna be working in a glass studio I would recommend finding some clothes you're really comfortable, made of cotton, without logos. Nylon clothing, synthetic clothes, they may be comfortable but the worst thing that can possibly happen to you is, God forbid, something pops off the iron, and starts burning into your clothing. That's gonna melt, it's gonna melt into your skin, it's gonna be a really painful burn. Long pants versus shorts are a really good idea, The last thing you want, if you knock a piece of the iron, is for a piece of glass to go flying through the air and land in your sock or your boot. So long pants are really good, it keeps you from burning your legs. I'd also stay away from sandals, open toed shoes and things that have open, exposed heels and toes are a really bad idea. You don't want hot glass stripping in your toes and getting wedged between the sole of your foot and top of your sandal. That's a really painful burn. It takes a while to kick the sandal off or trow your foot in a bucket of water and hopefully you've gotten it taken care of. So, long pants, cotton clothing, stay away from synthetics and don't wear sandals and you should be all right.
Lecture 27
How to Marver Glass
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How to Marver Glass
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Hello, my name's Todd Hansen. We're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Bowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass bower for about twelve years now, I've got several different lines of glasswork that I work on, and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. Molten glass on the end of a blowpipe is a really lively material. You'll notice that when you're watching glass blowers that we're always turning our pipes in our hands. Glass first comes out of the pipe from the furnaces around 2000, between 2000 and 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. And that's like having a blob of honey on the end of a broomstick. You've got to continually turn the pipe to keep it from just puddling off on the studio floor. Once you get the glass gathered up, keep it turning, take it back, you can shape it either by marvering or by using the blocks, but you always want to make sure you've got a good balance between your hands on the pipe. You've got a one hand over, one hand under - one hand over, the left hand usually acts a lever, and the back hand, the right hand, usually acts as the counterweight, so you've got a fulcrum, you've got a balance, and that allows you to carry the glass around the studio safely. Keep it in front of you, so you can see where you're going, and let everybody else know when you're walking behind them. A little situational awareness goes a long way. Know what everybody else around you is doing before you move from your bench, or your glory hole or the furnace, and you should be able to handle that pretty safely.
Lecture 28
How to Decorate Handblown Glass
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How to Decorate Handblown Glass
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Hello, my name is Todd Hansen, we're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We are at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about twelve years now. I've got several different lines of glasswork that I work on, and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. There are a lot of ways to decorate hand-blown glass. You can start with a solid chunk of color on the inside, you can use small chunks of glass we call frit, you can do trails, you can do optic molds, you can twist those patterns up. There are a lot of ways to do it. Basically, you could go to any studio and talk to any glass blower about how they do it, and you're going to find a different way from each person, So, a lot of it has to do with technique, it has to do with personal preference. What the glass blower likes to do himself, and - or herself - a lot of the basis for decoration is really just personal preference. We've got lots of hand tools, you can pull and maneuver the glass, manipulate it that way. Again, depending on how you want your final piece to be decorated, you can use the frit, you can use the trails. Those are techniques that we call hot-glass decorating. There's also ways to work with glass after it's cooled down, called cold-working. You can grind patterns and polish patterns into the glass. You can also cut a pattern into a piece, reheat it and pick it up. That's a different technique called a graal. Basically, whatever tool you find in the studio, you could probably use it to put a decoration in the glass, and it's really up to you to decide what you want to do and how you're going to decorate it.
Lecture 29
How to Use Newspaper as Heat Protection
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How to Use Newspaper as Heat Protection
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Hello, my name is Todd Hansen. We're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We are at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about 12 years now. I've got several different lines of glass-work that I work on, and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. One tool that glass blowers like to use is a pad of wet newspaper. It's one of the most versatile tools you'll find. It's also one of the cheapest you can come across. We use that. About eight or ten layers of newspaper will provide you with really adequate heat protection from the glass. It will actually allow you to mold and shape the glass much like a potter does with their bare hands and a wheel when they're shaping clay. What I like to do is grab about eight or ten sheets of whatever paper is handy and I'm gonna fold that a couple of times. Start by laying the sheets out completely flat on the surface and I'm gonna just fold those in half along the spine, and that just starts to build up layers of protection. Lots of paper to work with. Then I'm gonna fold that in half again so I got a long section of paper. Now that I've folded that pad of paper I'm gonna fold this into thirds. The reason for that is because I need to tuck the one layer inside the other. So fold a third, then fold the other third, bring it in, tuck the inner layer inside, and now you got a pad of paper. The last thing you need to do is cut the corners off. And you do that because as the glass heats up, the paper - as that water turns to steam, you need to have a way for that steam to escape. And that's what these corners - the holes in the corners will do for you. So what you do is cut the corners off and then take this pad of paper and soak it in water for about three to four minutes, get it really good water-logged and you're all set to go.
Lecture 30
How to Handle Hot Handblown Glass
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How to Handle Hot Handblown Glass
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Hello, my name's Todd Hansen. We're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Bowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass bower for about twelve years now, I've got several different lines of glasswork that I work on, and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. Molten glass on the end of a blowpipe is a really lively material. You'll notice that when you're watching glass blowers that we're always turning our pipes in our hands. Glass first comes out of the pipe from the furnaces around 2000, between 2000 and 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. And that's like having a blob of honey on the end of a broomstick. You've got to continually turn the pipe to keep it from just puddling off on the studio floor. Once you get the glass gathered up, keep it turning, take it back, you can shape it either by marvering or by using the blocks, but you always want to make sure you've got a good balance between your hands on the pipe. You've got a one hand over, one hand under - one hand over, the left hand usually acts a lever, and the back hand, the right hand, usually acts as the counterweight, so you've got a fulcrum, you've got a balance, and that allows you to carry the glass around the studio safely. Keep it in front of you, so you can see where you're going, and let everybody else know when you're walking behind them. A little situational awareness goes a long way. Know what everybody else around you is doing before you move from your bench, or your glory hole or the furnace, and you should be able to handle that pretty safely.
Lecture 31
How to Handle Fallen Molten Glass
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How to Handle Fallen Molten Glass
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Hello, my name is Todd Hansen. We're here at the Art of Fire - Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We are at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass blower for about 12 years now. I've got several different lines of glass-work that I work on, and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. There are gonna be times when you may get a really large gather and it might be too hot, you might lose control of it, but there are times when glass will fall to the floor. We have a concrete studio, our entire studio is covered in concrete. We do have rubber pads that we stand on when we're working, but the best thing to do if glass falls on the floor: just let it go. You're not gonna try and - you're not gonna be able to pick it up, you're not gonna be able to do anything with it. You certainly don't want to put it back on your pipe because now it's contaminated and you don't want that to become part of the body of work. The best thing to do is just to let it trail off, separate it from the pipe as best you can, wait till it cools off and then pick up a set of tweezers or a larger set of pincers and just dump it into a bucket and let it cool. If you can recycle it some way more power to you, but if it's gonna fall, it's gonna fall. Don't try and stop it, don't try and catch it because you're only gonna get burned. Same thing if you drop a pipe. If you feel a pipe - if you're losing balance with a pipe and you don't think you can control it anymore or if you've lost your grip or something's going wrong, let it go. If you grab for it chances are you're gonna grab a hot spot and pipe burn is gonna be just as bad as a glass burn. So don't try it just let it go. Clean up later and just be thankful that nobody got hurt.
Lecture 32
How to Color Handblown Glass
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How to Color Handblown Glass
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Hello my name’s Todd Hansen we’re here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I’ve been a glass blower for about twelve years now, I’ve got several different lines of glasswork that I work on and I’ll be talking to you about glass blowing. Clear glass is really pretty but colored glass is nice to look at too. There are several ways to get color into blowing glasswork. The way that actual colored glass is made is to add minerals or elements to clear glass so when you hear the term cobalt blue, the manufacturer’s thrown cobalt into a vat of clear glass and has turned that glass blue. Copper ruby is just that, it’s copper that’s been thrown in and that makes the glass a really deep red. Cranberry glass, the pink glass is actually made from gold so depending on what you throw in, the concentrations that you add and maybe whatever element you might add as well you can get a pink or a transparent versions of different colored glass and one of the ways we color our glass when pouring into it is taking colored rods that someone else has made. We’ll take a chunk of glass and we’ll preheat it and then stick it on the tip of a blowing iron, that becomes the very first bubble that you’re working with that’s actually a bubble of color, we’ll take that and we’ll heat that piece of color up, we’ll blow into it just a little bit and trap the air with our finger and I’ve got a small bubble my piece of color now then what I’ll do is layer clear glass on top of that. With those layers of clear glass you can also pick up frit, which are the smaller crushed versions of colored glass to decorate the glass and also take threads and trails of glass and wrap that around the body piece too so you’ve got a little color on the inside, color on the outside and then depending on how you manipulate that you can decorate the piece even further.
Lecture 33
How to Use Blocks & Paddles
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How to Use Blocks & Paddles
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Hello my name’s Todd Hansen, we’re here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I’ve been a glassblower for about twelve years now, I’ve got several different lines of glasswork that I work on and I’ll be talking to you about glassblowing. Blocks and paddles that we use are made from cherry wood and they are cut while the wood is green and that’s why the blocks are kept in water because the green wood will remain water logged as long as you keep it wet. We keep those in our buckets of water behind the bench and that way we have easy access to them when we’re sitting working with the glass. What you want to do, the best way I’ve heard it described is take that block and sort of cradle it like you would a baby’s head you just want to let the glass rest and roll easily in the block without forcing or pushing, you don’t want to push the glass back on the pipe, you don’t want the let the glass just sort of sag into the block either so keep the glass turning, bring the block up underneath while you’re turning and then just give it a nice easy roll up and down the bench maybe two or three times and that should give you a nice parison shape once you get that done you can take the glass on a cap. Paddle is the same way, you want to keep the paddle wet but when you’re ready to flatten the bottom, come in not at a ninety degree angle but give yourself a little bit of an angle to sort of snow plow the bottom initially. What that’ll do is push and center the bottom in one direction. Once you’ve got that sort of a point formed on the glass, go a rotate your paddle around flat, or bring it to ninety degrees and just a firm push on some hot glass should give a nice bottom form for your piece then you’re ready to put in the dimple and that’ll prepare the glass for the putty and then you’re ready for the transfer.
Lecture 34
How to Blow Glass with Todd Hansen
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How to Blow Glass with Todd Hansen
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Hello, my name is Todd Hansen and we're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We are at www.artoffire.com. It's a family owned business. My mother and her husband have been in the business with The Art of Fire for twenty-seven years now. I helped build the studio and construct all the equipment and we've got a nice business going here. We have several work stations where we do production work for galleries around the country. We also teach glass blowing and we rent time to other glass artists. I've been a glass blower for about twelve years now and I've got several different lines of glass work that I work on. There are three of us here full time that teach and work and we do pretty well, bouncing ideas off of each other and we've got a really nice product line. And I'll be talking to you about glass blowing.
Lecture 35
How to Blow Glass with Ed Donovan
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How to Blow Glass with Ed Donovan
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Hi . My name is Ed Donovan. I am here at DC GlassWorks . You can find us at dcglassworks.com . We are a public access glassblowing facility . We also do metal and metal casting and welding . We are primarily a teaching facility. We want to share with people the magic of glassblowing. It's an amazing substance. I came down to Washington quite a while ago. I had got comfortable with my career and was kind of getting bored going home and watching T.V. So I was looking for a place to learn how to deal with stained glass and when I found these guys on the web I came over here to talk to them about it and realized very quickly that I was probably at the wrong place to do that, and talking to the guys who were working here told that me that they taught glass blowing and I was like "Wow! I should take them up on that." I took the class and haven't looked back since. It's been an amazing journey. I absolutely love working with glass and the ability to create just about anything you want with that material, and so today I am going to be talking about the glassblowing.