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Blown glass has indeed survived through the years and made its way as a useful craft not only for use in industries such as manufacturing, food and beverages, but also for artistic purposes and decorations. It was able to go through the centuries and be among the most valued, expensive and precious pieces in museums and exhibits.
Nowadays, despite technology giving people machines and modern processes to create glass, there are still a lot of artists all around the world who choose to use their creativity in making beautiful blown-glass art pieces. More and more people are also becoming interested in learning the art.
Blown-glass art has developed and innovated, and right now, it has become a great creative and productive hobby where you can make such things as beads, marbles, and other small ornaments.
Blown glass is not only as treated as an essential but as a true art. It takes many forms and just like any art, only creativity defines its limits. So many variations, experimentation, and creative processes have come about through artists. As a result, we can now see the best of colors and forms that glass can be made into.
How to choose the best blown glass art
Art is something that cannot easily be measured. Choosing the best blown-glass art depends on factors that are mostly relative. A big factor comes from the process of making the piece and how it is formed. It can either be personalized or mass crafted. When mass crafted, the art slightly loses the essence of personalization.
The best blown-glass art is personalized and distinct. It undergoes a process carefully gone through by the artist with the aim of creating a masterpiece, carrying the identity and signature of the artist. For the best contemporary blown-glass art pieces, you may find them in a number of options.
Enthusiasts can approach an artist. Another good place to choose the best piece is by attending an art auction. You may also want to visit art galleries and be exposed to numerous best glass pieces gathered into one place.
You may also choose the best blown-glass art through its maker. While there are names which naturally surface when talking about this art, such as Ann Wolff and Karen LaMonte who has been in the spotlight since the 60s, the limelight is also opening to other contemporary artists who have proven themselves through their pieces.
Many artists do not specialize or work exclusively in glass, but many have found innovative and creative ways to incorporate ideas into their work. You may take confidence in the art through its artist. But sometimes, the most awe-inspiring treasures could show up under an unknown name.
What to look for in good blown-glass art
Blown-glass art has widely spread all around the world; it is widely appreciated and is now given so much value by many people including artists. From shops to the mall, to museums, you will find a lot of blown-glass art pieces.
Even though glass is made in the same or at least similar process and materials, the process of making it greatly affects the end product. There are different types of glass according to kinds and amount of materials used, and the process it underwent. It results in a different output with regards to how strong the glass is or how easily it can break.
When choosing blown-glass art, you need to consider a number of factors. You will know if a glass piece is personalized or hand blown. A hand blown piece usually costs more than mass-produced glass because of the effort undertaken by the artist who personally made it and the distinct look it has.
You can distinguish it through asymmetrical shapes or irregularities. This is what makes a piece more special and unique. Buyers interested in purchasing blown-glass pieces can choose from a variety such as vases, dinnerware, figurines, and more.
What makes blown-glass art is basically the combination of elements that make it stand out. One of the factors to look for in blown-glass art is its fragility. There are glass pieces that easily break and there are those which are strong. This property mainly involves the process of how the blown glass was made.
When the glass artist achieves the desired shape or design, it is time for him to enter the final phase which is cooling the glass. When cooling, a specific furnace allows the glass to cool gradually or else it will become fragile.
It is important to know the medium of how the piece was made. A piece can either be mold-blown or glass-blown. Mold-blown involves the usage of the mold so it is faster and produces more uniform shaped pieces. Free-blowing, on the other hand, makes the shape dependent on the artist’s preference.
Another thing that most buyers would obviously consider as the determining factor whether to buy the glass item or not is the uniqueness of the piece. Though it varies, blown-glass art, just as any art, is good when appreciated by the audience.
Devardi Glass Lampwork, Beadmaking Starter Kit – Basic
This is the basic starter kit to own if you are someone who has just gotten some interest in beadmaking and lampworking. As glassworking is getting more and more popular all around the world, not only artists and mass producers are into it.
Many ordinary people have invested in making this craft a hobby, which is now made possible because many brands have made materials and tools available to everyone who wants to start learning and being in the glass art industry.
- Basic Lampwork Starter Kit for beginners contains a DVD with 2 hours of instructional video
- Has a full email and phone support for process reference
- Includes safety instructions and procedure directions
- The whole set contains Devardi Glass rods in assorted colors, stainless mandrels, a mandrel for styling beads with big holes, aluminium marving plate, stainless rake, a bead release to coat mandrels, cooling fiber blanket, and an aluminium sheet to protect desktop
- Includes a heavy duty lampworking torch
The Devardi Glass Lampwork Beadmaking Starter kit will help you get started and provide you with all the basic things you need. The set contains Devardi glass rods in assorted colors. It has stainless mandrels and a different mandrel intended for styling beads with big holes. It also includes a marving plate and a stainless rake.
There is a bead release to coat the mandrels. Plus, you get the cooling fiber blanket for finishing touches of glass works and of course, an aluminium sheet to keep your desktop or work area protected from the hot materials.
The good thing about this starter kit is that not only does it provide you with the basic tools you can use, it also includes a tutorial DVD.
Devardi wants to make sure you are on the right path of your process and you know how to use the kit and get started. If the DVD misses some of your questions, customer service can supply you with the needed information either through email or calling their customer center.
This set is created to make learning convenient and ready for starters. It is made easy to use and makes you operate with ease. The disadvantages of this set, on the other hand, is that it does not include safety equipment such as protective gloves and goggles, which have to be bought separately.
Some users would prefer for tools such as the rod and metal surface to be larger. If you ever go for an upgrade, these tools might not suit anymore and you will need to purchase a different set of tools that are varied in size and dimension.
Glassblowing, Glass Working Lampworking Supplies Tool
Because a lot of people are now getting into the art of glassblowing, beadworking, and lampworking, purchasing the tools you need is made easier with sets such as this one we will review right now.
This supply tool kit includes a 6 pieces steel carving set, 6 pieces hook and picks set, 6 pieces tweezers set, and one spear shears. All of these tools are made of high-quality stainless steel materials which make it durable.
- 6 piece steel carving set
- 6 pieces hook and picks set
- 6 piece tweezer set
- Includes one spear shears
- All pieces are made of high-quality stainless steel material
Because everything is provided in this supply toolkit, you will not have to buy separate pieces anymore. Instead of spending more in buying different sizes of tools like the tweezers and carving set, you can get everything in this kit.
The tweezers, hook and picks, and carving set is provided in different sizes so you have what you need when you create different sizes of beads or marbles.
Aside from the tweezers, carving set, and hook and picks, it also includes one sharp shear spear. This shears or hardware scissors is good for cutting both soft and hard materials. As with the tools that come with the supply kit, it is made durable to last for years.
The handles are wide and they are covered with a rubber coating so it is easier on the hands even when used frequently.
As with other toolsets, this product also has its share of disadvantages. This supplies kit contains 19 pieces in all. Although in good quality and provides most of the basic shaping tools a glassworker needs, it might not serve well when you start to work with bigger pieces.
The tools are small will probably work best on wearable beads and small pieces. Also, the double-ended tools do not differ much in size.
Devardi Glass Rod Holder for Lampwork, Beadmaking
In the art of glassworking, Devardi is a brand that everyone probably knows. Devardi has proven to their users that it can produce the highest quality equipment and tools.
Most of the time, Devardi gives us complete sets such as supplies kits for beginners, quality equipment, and much more. But what we have here is yet another product Devardi has made in its aim to continue making the best products on the market.
- Simple mechanism: insert the glass rod and tighten the nut to secure
- It is made of high-quality stainless steel
- It is a two piece construction that will prevent heat transfer to the hand
- It can hold up to 12mm glass rods
- It is lightweight and well balanced
- It has a secure lock
Usually, when glass rods are short, the hands of the artist are at a high risk of being burned. Most glass workers improvise and melt two rods and connect them into one to make it longer and easier to use. If you are one of those who finds it hard to use short glass rods, this is the product for you—a glass rod holder for lampwork.
This glass rod holder, first of all, is made of high quality, flawless stainless still. You do not have to worry about anything because it is easy to use and definitely hassle free. It works simply; you just have to insert the rod and tighten the knob to secure the rod in place. With the knob feature, it can accommodate different sizes of glass rods.
There are not many cons in this product as much as its advantages. Some artists who have been used to using short rods work comfortably without this glass holder and that may be the only reason they would not buy this protective tool.
Devardi Glass Lampwork, Beadmaking Roller/Rounding Graphite Marver
In this review, we will talk about yet another product brought to us by Devardi. Devardi Glass Lampwork, Beadmaking, Roller/Rounding Graphite Marver is a tool used for shaping round glasses. This is used by the artist to make glass edges rolled and flawlessly polished.
- It is a high-quality graphite marver
- It is dual purpose: easily making round and square shapes
- Sized 2” x 3”
- Has a strong steel handle
- Easy on the hands with the rubber plastic grip on the handle
- Weighs 13 ounces
- It is durable and lasts long
What we have here is a high-quality graphite marver. It is 2” x 3” in size. It has a strong steel handle and is easy on the hand with its plastic grip covering the handle. It is a portable tool that is useful especially when you are an artist exploring different designs. What users like about this rolling graphite marver is that is it has two rollers.
It is of a size that can be used for a variety of sizes, whether you work with small beads or medium marbles, this graphite marver is useful. When turned around, you can use the flat back to sharpen or flatten the edges.
Many are happy with how useful this graphite marver can be. But many would also prefer to have a marver made of aluminum since it is a better conductor of heat, the molten glass cools down slower, and could take a longer time for shaping before having to be taken back to the glory hole to reheat.
7 IN 1 Graphite Glass Marble Sphere Round Mold for Glassblowing Casting Lamp Working
While others buy a separate single sphere mold to shape round glass pieces, this 7 in 1 graphite Glass Marble Sphere Round Mold gives you everything all in one tool. This round mold is made of high-density graphite.
It has a smooth cavity finish and can be used in multiple ways. It is a useful tool for shaping blown-glass art and easy shaping of marbles and beads.
- It is made of high-density graphite
- It has a smooth cavity finish
- It can be used in multiple ways
- A useful tool in glassblowing
- It is easy to use
- It is durable
Instead of spending more on separate sphere molds, you will save money and time with this tool. Seven different sphere sizes are placed side by side on one platform. This tool is versatile, and it is most useful in shaping marbles but it can also be used for making beads.
The product comes out flawless because of its smooth Cavendish finish feature and your pieces will just be as perfect as you want them to be.
This multiple sphere mold is priced a little higher than single sphere shapers. It is small and meant for small beads and marbles. Some would prefer for it to be little bigger or provide more variety in the amount of glass it can shape in each sphere mold.
What could be better, maybe, as suggested by users, is for it to have a cone rim to at least accommodate the non-specific amount of glass.