Glass Blowing – How to Gather Glass on a Blowing Iron

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,072
    Glass blower Todd Hansen demonstrates how to gather glass on a blowing iron when glass blowing.

    Todd Hansen: Hi, I am Todd Hansen. Today we are here at the Art of Fire-Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio. I am going to show you how to blow glass. First, we are going to learn how to gather glass on a blowing iron. So here we have to get heated blow pipe, the end of the iron is nice and glowing orange. Remember, hot glass won't stick to the cold surface, so we always preheat the iron before we go in. Lets get our first gather of clear glass. We are just going to reach over the ledge of the furnace, just let my reflection of the iron make contact with the surface of the glass and then I am slowly turning two times around should be good. Bring your iron back to level, come on out and now we have got our first gather of clear glass on the iron. You will notice that I continually turn the iron. If I stop, glass wants to sag right down to the floor. This is like having honey on the tip of a butter knife, if you want to keep that glass centered so keep it turning. That will keep the glass on the iron. Let's take it to the marver, cool a little bit, then we will do the blowing cap. The marving plate placed I am using is just a sheet of steel, just going to roll across. What you want to get is something about almost two times longer than it is wide as far as moving that first gather glass, cool the sides, then cool the tip just a bit. Now we will do a quick blowing cap trapping the air inside the iron with my fingertip. We should see that bubble just expand nicely, evenly into that gathered clear glass. When you get the bubble of size you want just take your finger off the end that will stop that bubble from growing right away and one more time we will across the marver, just to cool the glass, set the sides a little bit and get set for our second gather of clear glass over this. I am going to try and layer my next gather just slightly below the line that I have with the first gather. This moil again is the point that is going to be supporting this whole body of glass. We want to make sure that is nice and stable and we will keep a grip on that. Here we go, again, I just look for my reflection, I bury that bubble in the glass, two-four rotations and now we have got our second gather of clear glass. That is how we gather glass on a blowing iron. Next, we are going to learn how to size the piece up when glass blowing.