Glass blowing is an enthralling process. You may have seen those YouTube videos of glass blowers at work, and now you’re wondering how you can get started on this hobby. Unfortunately, unlike painting or woodcarving, glass blowing can’t be self-taught and practiced at home. Glass blowing equipment is unsafe to set up in a residential space. You’ll also be working with temperatures of up to 2,400°F, which can cause serious burns if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you’re a beginner, then the best and safest way to get into glass blowing is to sign up for a class. Classes are also necessary because most studios will only allow hobbyists to rent space and equipment if they have sufficient training.
If you’re still on the fence about glass blowing and you’re not sure if you’re ready to invest the time and money in classes, read on for a basic guide on glass blowing that may help you come to a decision.
Hazards in glass blowing
As mentioned, the high temperatures involved in glass blowing means there’s a risk of burning yourself or those around you if you’re not careful. The fumes involved in glass blowing are highly toxic and could result in dangerous side effects if you don’t have the right protective equipment. Most studios have the proper ventilation to minimize the effects, but it’s still imperative to wear a gas mask at all times.
There’s also the risk of injury due to broken glass. When this happens, carefully sweep the shards into a container sturdy enough that the glass won’t pierce through it, fill the remaining space with crumpled paper or cloth, seal the opening and ask a junk removal Gainesville professional to dispose of it.
Glass blowing requires a lot of repetitive motion and holding positions for a long time. Rotating the blowpipe at a steady pace is necessary to keep the molten glass in the right shape. For certain shapes, you may need to hold the blowpipe at a specific position or angle until the glass cools sufficiently enough. Especially considering how heavy a blowpipe is, it may cause significant strain to you if you don’t have enough upper body strength.
Steep learning curve
Glass blowing is a difficult skill to perfect. There are many steps involved from start to finish, and if you get even just one step wrong, it can destroy all your hard work. If you want to create various effects, patterns, and shapes with glass, then there are other techniques you need to master as well.
Unlike some hobbies, there’s a lot you need to think about before pursuing glass blowing. On top of the hazards and greater physical demands of the craft, there’s also the financial investment for classes and studio or equipment. But if you’re resolute about pursuing this hobby, then there’s a lot you’ll learn, and the possibilities are endless. Do not be upset at your failures and learn from them instead. With enough time and dedication, you can make anything from vases to decorative pieces.