My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Glassblowing Demonstration at Chihuly Garden and Museum

May 5, 2017

One of the interesting things at the Chihuly Museum was a glass blowing demonstration in the garden. The glassblowing ovens were built into an Airstream trailer which can be hauled to other locations.

Two men worked as a team to make a bowl. Here are the materials they are starting with .  

The rod is heated until it can stick to the glass and then the rod/glass are put back into the furnace, constantly spinning it at the same rate gravity pulls it down.

Then they added some color and reheated it

What it looks like while rolling the shape.

Then they heat and blow a small bubble into the glass.

Which blows it up into a sphere. Then back it goes to the furnace where it expands further.

The glass is worked further.

Until finally they attach second rod to what will become the bottom of the bowl.

And removed the first rod from what will become the open top of the bowl.

Then the glass has to be smoothed where the break occurred and the end is worked with several different tools.

To keep that spot hot,  and help smooth the glass, they used a blowtorch.

Ii has to be heated several times during this process

The second guy started another bit of glass in a different color for edged of the bowl while the first guy heated and worked the bowl.

This is how the molten glass looked after he rolled it in the color.

I  didn't get a picture of how they added the color but I think it happened just before they opened the glass to form the rim of the bowl.

The second guy opened the neck by inserting the tool while the first guy helped hold it steady even while constantly rolling the bowl with his other hand. See the purple rim?

They both worked the bowl to open it and keep the edges level.

A closeup

Polishing the bowl.

More work on the rim.

Finally they make a check on the bowl and show it to us.

Then worked on it some more.  Here the second guy is using the paddle to keep the heat from the glass off the arm of the first guy.

They are starting to take the bowl off the rod.

Making a final check.

A little more work on the rim area.

Cutting the bowl off the rod.

And setting it on a paddle just before the rod was fully taken off.

All done.

Except for a last smoothing where the rod was.

Then it was rushed to a kiln to cool.  If it cools too fast, it will break. I think it has to stay here over night.

This all happened in fifteen to twenty minutes.

On a personal note, we are having winter weather here. I managed to get in the second bluebird survey yesterday in very high winds and cool temperatures. Soon after I got back, we got intermittent rain which turned to snow over night. We are going to have intermittent snow showers through tomorrow morning.  It's definitely long John time.