Important Items Used in Blowing Glass

Glass is an important material used in a wide variety of products today. You can see glass used in items like mirrors, vehicle windscreens, medical items, eyewear, kitchenware and a lot more. But what is glass exactly? What does it contain? What do you need to blow glass with? What procedures are needed in order to create such material?

In this article, we are going to answer these queries. We are going to concentrate on the glass and the needed devices in order to perform a technique such as glassblowing.

What is glass? The main material that composes the item is silica, a material that forms in great quantities naturally. The primary varieties of glass are flint, sand, and quartz. Once warmed through to very high temperatures, all combined materials melt down to create glass.

Heat is important to the formation of glass. In fact, volcanic eruptions that happen in areas where great amounts of silica exist can also create a natural, dark kind of glass known as obsidian.

The temperature that is needed to melt down silica is approximately 1,800°C. It is higher than could be acquired in ancient wood-burning furnaces. Glass that was made by man became a possibility once it was discovered that soda ash or potash, which is acquired from seared vegetable items, made the silica thaw or melt at 900 to 1100°C.

In Mediterranean locations, many use soda ash for material, while European countries are in favor of potash. The natural shades that are found in glass are eliminated by supplementing the material with arsenic, manganese or nitre. This was not an accurate aspect since the supplementation made shades of their own.

This explains why the glass of old featured a broad range of colors. Contemporary, unadulterated additives indicate that a constantly transparent and color-free glass can be made. Adding certain metals like cobalt, copper, iron, tin and other sorts of items can, in turn, produce colors like amber, blue, green, red, purple and white.

These days you will see plenty of household items with glass parts on them. After the creation of machines that help in the mass production of glass, it became a common sight on plenty of products. The price range for this item differs as well. There is reasonably priced glass, while there is strong, durable glass that costs hundreds of dollars.

The glassmakers of old made use of casting or shaping methods to create glass. This method lasted from around the 15th century BC until the 1st century BC. Glassblowing was uncovered over the course of the 1st century AD.

In reality, every method of shaping and decorating glass have been encountered, from molding, mold blowing, free blowing, engraving, enameling, gilding, cutting and draping the layers with colored glass.

There were also methods in order to make glass look like natural stone or rocks. These methods were performed over 200 years ago and some of them made comebacks at differing times until today.

There are tools that every glassmaker should have while making glass. The devices employed in the practice have remained the same for many centuries due to the tools’ simplicity for the most part. Here is a list of tools that are used.


The glass is collected on the rounded end of the pipe and the glassmaker will try to create the glass’s shape by blowing down on it.


Also known as the chair, the bench is the workplace of the glassmaker. It has flat arms located along which the blowpipe can be trundled in order to cast the container.

However, in the glass industry where hand-blown glass is made, this particular term refers to a group of 3-4 men. Hence the size of the plant or factory comprises a number of chairs.


These are devices that are built from wood and they are utilized to compress a globule of melted glass into a foot for a product like wine glasses.


This refers to a spring clip that is fastened to an iron rod. The gadget was a replacement for the pontil iron clip in the 18th century because it does not leave behind a pontil mark.


This is a flat iron plate around 2 to 3 feet square, bearing a significantly polished and smooth exterior. Melted or molten glass typically has a plastic texture and can be trundled on the marver over the course of the blowing procedure to smooth and cast glass.


These are spring tongs and they have the same appearance as sugar tongs.

Pontil iron

The pontil iron refers to a dense metal rod. Its end is warmed through and applied to the base of the container which is being blown. It supports the item once the blowpipe is removed. The pontil mark refers to the signature mark the pontil leaves once it is removed.

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