If it’s your first time working with glass as an art form, things probably aren’t going to turn out how you planned. But that can be the most exciting part! Your piece may even turn out better than you imagined.
Safety. Always wear some type of protective glasses. Sodium flare glasses are used to help you see the glass you’re working on through the bright flame. It’s also a good idea to wear them as a general precaution when working with fire and glass.
Creating the shape. You always need to be spinning the rods in the flame or else the glass will melt, as it is a liquid this temperature. There are many techniques and tools for shaping glass. Graphite tools are used, as the graphite doesn’t stick to the glass. Eventually, you’ll find the technique that works best for your art.
Adding color. One easy way to add color is by drawing on your main piece with a colored stick of glass. The colored rods are typically much thinner, like a piece of dried spaghetti. It’s awesome to see the shape and color change as the two pieces of glass come together.
Even if something doesn’t turn out the way you want, don’t worry. The glass can still be molded and shaped. Often, what you end up with is better than what you had in mind when you started. Plus it’s a fun activity to do with friends, or an opportunity to make new ones. You can talk to you neighbor on the torch next to you, and learn and share techniques. It’s cool to see the glass transform before your eyes. Time flies by, and you can get lost in the process of watching the glass go from a solid to a liquid, back to a solid.
Visit the Boro School if you’re interested in taking a stab at glassblowing. They will help you get started and give you everything you need. Afterwards visit one of the many pot shops in Seattle to top it off!