Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lampworking VS Glassblowing

So it seems like many people are confused about the differences of lampworking and glassblowing. It seems like most people have hard of glass blowing and assume that that is what I do. I am actually a lampworker. Below are pictures to show you the differences...

Here is a picture of me lampworking. You can't really see my torch from this angle, but lampworking is working on a torch to melt glass. After a bead is made in the flame it is then placed into a kiln to further anneal (or harden) a bead. Annealing takes the stress out of the glass and slowly cools it , giving it strength and durability so it will last a lifetime.

In this photo you can see me melting the glass onto a mandrel with my torch. The black thing under my wrist is a creation station. It is one of the best tools I have ever purchased! The creation station is a device that is bolted down to my desk. This device has adjustable rests for my wrists (the black handle), and rests for my elbows. This device allows me to steady my hands and elbows so I can work comfortably for many hours.
Here is a photo of Glassworks Studio and Gallery in Estes Park, CO. The glassblower in the picture is artist Taury Bailey.
Here is a picture of the Glory Hole which is a glass furnace where the glassblowers heat up their molten glass. the pole on which the glass is places has a blow tube at the end of it. Glassblowers blow air into the tube to inflate their pieces. Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to catch Taury blowing into her tube.
In this photo Taury is rolling her glass piece in frit which are tiny pieces of glass used for decoration glass pieces. We also have frit for beadmaking, but it is much smaller than the frit in this picture.

Here Taury rests her glass onto little metal rests to rotate her piece and even out the shape of her molten glass vase.

In this picture you will notice the bright orange blob on the counter behind the purple cups. Taury has just squeezed a small blob of glass from a metal rod onto the table top to make the bottom foot of her vase.
Here is a picture of Taury heating the top of her vase to the footed bottom. I didn't get to take the rest of the pictures that I wanted since my camera was full. After this Taury heated a punty to the bottom of the vase and then heated and opened up the top of the vase by heating it and then using a pair of tweezers to open the mouth of her vase. She made the mouth very wide and kind of folded the glass back as if she had made a collar around the opening of the vase. When she was done with this she took her vase and spun the tube as if she was spinning a baton. This made the top of the vase ruffle like a flower. It was really AMAZING!

This is a photo of a really lovely set of shelves with all sorts of glass items. You can see some of the vases with the ruffly tops like I was describing in the text above.

I hope that this entry has made you familiar of the differences of lampworking and glassblowing :)

Much love,



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