15 Sep 11

Making glass paperweights

My great grandfather was a glass blower for the Pyrex factory and because of this I’ve always wanted to learn more about glass. I never met my grandparents but I think through craft you can in some small way connect with your past, it becomes a very immediate physical link since making glass hasn’t changed for centuries.

I sometimes think about how hard he would have worked, the heat and physical effort required to produce vast quantities of glass tableware.

Over the weekend I did a short session over at the Glass Centre in Sunderland on how to make a glass paperweight working with molten glass. Although there wasn’t any blowing involved it was fascinating working with the glass and becoming familiar with it’s properties as it changed temperature.

I wanted to make my paperweight with purple, blue and white to create a swirling nebula of stars inside. Mine’s the one at the front of the picture and my boyfriends is at the back, I like mine better than his but don’t tell him I said so! At the end of the session I also had a front row seat to watch the tutors perform a glass blowing demonstration to make a gold and white bowl. I’ve often heard people say that glass and ceramics are quite similar but I’m not so sure!

3 comments

  1. Victoria says:

    I was a bit intimidated by it at first but its good if you’ve got someone there who’ll teach you one on one how the process works. So satisfying to get them home!

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