Shape molten glass into vases, sculptures, and beautiful works of art.
What does a Glassblower do?
One of the world’s oldest professions, dating back to around 50 B.C., glassblowing is the balloon art of the ceramics world. Not because of the art – although it takes mad skills to turn a party decoration into a pet poodle – but rather because of the method, which requires the Artist to simultaneously use both hands and lungs to turn raw materials into spectacular shapes.
As a Glassblower, you’ll spend your days inside a hot workshop, literally sweating over your art beside hot furnaces in which Glassblowers turn sand into molten glass. It’s crazy hot – between 1,600 and 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit – so Glassblowers use a metal rod to scoop up gobs of glass magma from the furnace, then blow through the tube to inflate them like a child blowing bubblegum. While it’s still hot, you’ll use special tools to manipulate the glass into shapes that will cool in the form of pretty plates, bowls, vases, lamps, jewelry and even holiday ornaments.
Because it’s so hot, and cools so quickly, working with glass is like diffusing a time bomb in a sauna: It’s hard, it’s hot and it’s high-pressure. And when it doesn’t blow up, you’ll feel like a hero. Along with heat-resistant clothes, you’ll therefore need steady hands and lots of patience to be a Glassblower, not to mention enough creativity to design your wares and enough business acumen to sell them, either in rented gallery space, at exhibitions or in your very own shop.