How long does it take to learn how to blow glass?
Glassworking is a continual learning process. With each piece, you create you learn something new about the properties of glass, how far you can push it, and, as well, about your own creativity.
How hot is the glass?
The temperature in the furnace where glass is melted down is just over 2000º. As the artists work, blowing and shaping their forms, the glass on the pipe is continually cooling and needs to be reheated. The reheating chamber for the glass is called a “glory hole.”
What happens to the glass after the artist finishes working?
It is placed in an oven to cool slowly. This process is called annealing. If the glass cools down too quickly or unevenly it causes stress and will crack. Annealing time also varies depending on the size and thickness of the glass. It can range from one day to several weeks.
How are the colors made?
All colors for both glass and clay come from metal oxides. Here at Wheaton we purchase pre-colored glass in either powder or frit (small chips) form and add it to our clear glass.
Can you earn a living making glass?
Absolutely, there is a market for hand-made glassware. The Gallery of Fine Craft here at WheatonArts features the work of many of our resident glass artists. It’s possible to also market and sell the work wholesale and through craft shows.