A lot of people love glass pieces in their homes. Glass bowls, jars, and even glass sculptures give any room in the house an instant fluid, light, and carefree ambience. At the same time, glass can be very elegant and fashionable, without having to cost too much. Because of the many benefits and because of the artistic value of glass, a number of people have taken to studying the art of glass blowing. Here’s how you can learn glass blowing for yourself.
- Know the basics. First of all, you should do your initial research on the subject. There are plenty of resources and media where you can get information on glass blowing techniques. The preliminary research that you will undertake is not meant to give you all of the detailed instructions on how to go about with glass blowing. Instead, it will only give you ideas on what it’s like to blow glass. For instance, you should familiarize yourself with the tools, amount of time you need, and techniques that you need to master in order to be an effective glass blower. If you feel that you do not have the finance or the time to undergo glass blowing, the initial research will keep you from buying the materials only to find out that you cannot use them or that the materials will break your bank account.
- Get some formal training. After you have scoured the Internet and the basic books about glass blowing from your local library, the next step is to enroll in glass blowing classes. In a lot of communities, there are usually community art classes where you can sign up and where you can learn glass blowing. If you do not want to engage in classroom learning, you can also hire a private instructor or you can ask a local glass blower to take you in as an apprentice. Formal training as a student or as an apprentice is very important, since there are many techniques that can only be learned through actual practice. Also, having a teacher or a mentor guide you will make the learning process much easier.
- Know your materials. Next, you should find out the basic materials that are needed for glass blowing. Because glass can only be manipulated and blown when it is heated to a high enough temperature that causes it to become liquid, you will need an oven or kiln that has been specially designed for glass melting. You will also need blowpipes for creating the bubbles or hole in the glass lumps, as well as air pumps.
- Know the glass blowing process. Finally, learn the basics about glass blowing. Essentially, you will need to slowly heat the glass to a very high temperature until it melts. Once the glass has melted, you can begin manipulating it using your tools. After you have achieved the desired shape, color, and size of the glass piece that you are working on, you will need to return to piece to the kiln and gradually lower the temperature. The gradual cooling is important, otherwise the glass piece will shatter.
With these steps, you should be able to learn the craft of glass blowing. It is not easy, and it is will require some money. But once you have mastered the craft, you can actually sell the finished products, or use it to decorate your home.