The Inside Scoop on Glass Blowing
Glass blowing, in decades past was a mere spectator novelty you would find at a fair. Today it has made a comeback with some features that are reminiscent of the 60’s. One of those features is the glass-blown bong. It’s an enclosed bowl with en elongated tube. They come in all of the most artful and colorful shapes and sizes.
The Romans did Glass Blowing
Yes, the art of glass-blowing goes back to the Roman Empire. If it hadn’t coincided at the same time of this period–it would not have caught on so quickly or spread out so far and wide. It landed in places like Egypt and even found itself in other areas of the Middle-East and what we now call Easter Block Europe. It faded out in the majority of those places for a while to catch fire in the West. It was most popular in Western Europe as a novelty for the rich and glass sold for high prices. So, what was once a common man’s creative hobby, soon turned into a playground for rich Europeans. It hit the states and was at it’s high-point in the 60’s both there and in the United Kingdom for a time. It’s making its comeback now with a bang.
Glass Blowing was first done by Nature
So, who started this fad? Nature,that’s who. However, glass must be blown at a temp of 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. What? Yup you heard right. So, what prehistoric thing in nature could heat a part of the earth to that temperature? Nothing prehistoric at all. How about volcanoes and lightening–two natural things that occur naturally everyday all over the planet.
There are two types of glass blowing
The first type is free-blowing. This is almost self-explanatory. It’s a method by which the glass blower, blows air manually into a the molten glass coil that is at the end of the pipe. This shapes the glass.
The other type is mold-blowing which is where that same molten glass is blown into a wood or metal mold.
The difference is that the texture and integrity of the finished glass piece is determined by the mold and not solely the skill of the glass-blower as in the free-blowing.
This is a skill that is challenging to learn. It takes a lot of hard practice.