By forcing air into molten glass to form desired shapes, glass blowers create a wide range of glass products. Some make commonplace items like bowls and glasses, while others make more artistic items like ornaments and stained glass. Some professionals also work in the scientific field, producing test tubes and beakers for laboratories. They can work in a variety of mediums or focus on just one. Although a few people in this industry still use their mouths to blow glass, the majority use specialized equipment to manipulate the air.
Glass blowing, whether for artistic or practical purposes, necessitates meticulous attention to detail and specialized skills. Glass products are made catching molten glass gobs on the end of a tube and forcing air through it to expand the gob to the desired size. The glass blower manipulates it hand or with machines to form it into the desired shape once the size is perfect. Glass blowers inspect the items after they have dried to ensure that they meet the quality standards set the artists or customers.
Stained glass windows, vases, lamp bases, decorative mirrors, and ornaments are just a few of the decorative items made this profession’s members. Some glass blowers create pieces exclusively for art shows and exhibitions. Glass blowers work in production and manufacturing environments to create glass tubing, pipes, test tubes, and other commercial, scientific, and industrial blown glass items. Glass blowers who work exclusively in the field of glass repair, renovation, and restoration make up a sizable percentage of the industry.
Glass blowers who fall into the artisan category typically use other skills in addition to blowing glass into various shapes with a blowing iron. Sandblasting the glass surface, acid etching patterns into it, or engraving decorative patterns around the perimeters are all common techniques. Colored or enameled glass is sometimes soldered into place to embellish the pieces.
Workers in this industry’s non-artisan sector must adhere to strict production guidelines set medical, scientific, and industrial equipment professionals. Laboratory tools and apparatus, specimen containers, and glass enclosures that require specific tempering are examples of these items. Commercial glass blowers also make glass tools and implements for applications that require resistance to metal surfaces.
This position does not necessitate any formal education. A glass blower’s background often includes art, metalwork, or industrial tool production instruction and education. Some art institutes offer glass blowing classes, and some glass blowers offer private lessons to those interested in learning the craft. Traditionally, industrial glass blowers received on-the-job training. For industrial jobs, solid chemistry or physics knowledge is usually required.