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How to Get Started in Glassblowing

Learn how to get started in glassblowing from expert Ed Donovan in this Howcast video.


Hello my name is Todd Hansen and we are here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at I've been a glass blower for about 12 years now. I got several different lines of glasswork that I work on and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing The best way to get started with glass blowing is to find a studio with lots of friendly, helpful people. What you want to find is a place where people can answer questions for you pretty easily, and they got a pretty good instructor program. Something where they got a curriculum and outlining the work, so it makes a lot of sense. So what you're probably going to do when you start blowing glass, is start off getting a couple of solid gathers on a pipe. This just gives you a chance to be accustomed to the furnace, the hand tools, and how you're really going to get yourself around the studio. Once you've mastered those basic techniques, take a blow pipe, take your first couple of gathers and you're going to shape those. You can block them, marvel them, whatever it takes to get them into a parison shape, then do just an easy blowing cap and that's just by blowing a small amount of air and trapping it with your fingertips. You'll have the heat of the glass actually form a bubble. Just go easy with it. Start off with a small couple of gathers. Reheat with the glory hold, try the jacks. Be sure you don't pinch the neck down all the way. You don't want to close that bubble off. Once you get the bubble blowing out, start swinging it a little bit, stretch it, see if you can get a cylinder out of it. Something simple like a tumbler. Flatten the bottom, put a penny on it, turn it around, and start using the jack scoping it off. Nice and easy. If you ever have trouble getting the glass to move, you can always go back and reheat.

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