That’s some hot glass (about 2100°F)
This week, I’m taking a class at Diablo Glass School. The class is very fun and I’ve made a few things so far. The one pictured below is the paperweight I made.
The process didn’t seem too hard at first but trying it wasn’t very easy. You had to work fast and endure quite a lot of heat coming off the glass.
- Get a punty (the rod that the glass is on) and gather some clear molten glass from a large furnace. This is achieved by putting the tip of the punty into the glass and spinning it.
- Remove the punty from the furnace while spinning it at a constant rate (If this is not done the glass will lean to one side and mess up your work it must be kept turning throughout most of the project).
- Roll the glass you have collected on a flat metal table called a marver until it becomes a cylinder.
- Roll the cylinder of glass in one of the colours you have chosen (these colours are made of crushed coloured glass) I chose blue and yellow once you have one of the colours on the glass heat it in a gloryhole which is similar to the furnace but without molten glass in it.
- After the glass shards melt get some of your other colour and melt this one as well.
- Now sit down (sitting with glass is a complicated process that must be learned) and using tweezers pull the glass around and just mess with it.
- Let the glass cool a little then get another gather over the glass you have.
- Spin the glass around in a block (a wooden tool that has a bowl like end on the handle) until it becomes a circle.
- Heat the glass again.
- Sit down again but now pick up a jack (a tweezer like tool but with blades on the end) and press that against the glass a little past the end of the punty softly at first and slowly squeeze harder. A friend can help by holding a piece of wood between your arm and the glass.
- Take the glass to the knock-off station where you set it on a cushion type thing and then using the back of the tweezers hit the punty slightly above the glass. The glass will fall off the punty on to the cushion.
- Using a blowtorch heat the bottom of the glass where it was attached to the punty and once it is hot enough push down on it with a flat piece of metal.
- Now using tongs place the glass in an annealer (kiln) to cool the glass down without breaking it.