Glass Blowing in Washington – Blogmas 2014

After seeing beautiful Murano glass in Italy and my first Chihuly installation in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, I have always wanted to see how glass is blown. So when my friend offered up a spot in a private glass blowing workshop, I jumped that the opportunity to join with another friend as well. We each made three Christmas ornaments, and the whole process was so cool. Is it weird that my new favorite color is “molten glass”? 
Below are a few pictures taken as we were blowing our ornaments. I will not be sharing photos of each of us actually blowing the glass, because it just looks very odd and slightly wrong. I also don’t need that picture of myself on the internet forever. I couldn’t help but laugh every time they told us to blow harder – I’m sure I looked just like the War Heads logo… (click here for that image)
 I was terrified of getting in contact with pretty much everything. I burn myself on coffee each morning, and cannot imagine 2,000 degree metal or glass… No one had to warn me about the heat!
Molten glass hangs on to an iron rod, which is then put into a swirling 2,000 degree heat. This is called a “Glory Hole”. I am not kidding. 
The inside of an old glory hole that had been covered with glass. 
Some of the tools appeared to be more at home in a horror movie than a glass studio.
You can see the first bubble forming as the glass is blown. 
That black piece is actually water logged wood. It helps to shape the spherical ornament. 

The bubble grows larger! This ornament was actually not red; the glass is just that hot.
After the glass is removed from the iron blowing rod, a blow torch is used to create a small hanger. So cool. 

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