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How to Prepare Newspaper for Heat Protection in Glassblowing

Learn how to prepare newspaper to be used as a heat protector during glassblowing from expert Todd Hansen in this Howcast video.


Hello, my name is Todd Hansen. We're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Blowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We are at I've been a glass blower for about 12 years now. I've got several different lines of glass-work that I work on, and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. One tool that glass blowers like to use is a pad of wet newspaper. It's one of the most versatile tools you'll find. It's also one of the cheapest you can come across. We use that. About eight or ten layers of newspaper will provide you with really adequate heat protection from the glass. It will actually allow you to mold and shape the glass much like a potter does with their bare hands and a wheel when they're shaping clay. What I like to do is grab about eight or ten sheets of whatever paper is handy and I'm gonna fold that a couple of times. Start by laying the sheets out completely flat on the surface and I'm gonna just fold those in half along the spine, and that just starts to build up layers of protection. Lots of paper to work with. Then I'm gonna fold that in half again so I got a long section of paper. Now that I've folded that pad of paper I'm gonna fold this into thirds. The reason for that is because I need to tuck the one layer inside the other. So fold a third, then fold the other third, bring it in, tuck the inner layer inside, and now you got a pad of paper. The last thing you need to do is cut the corners off. And you do that because as the glass heats up, the paper - as that water turns to steam, you need to have a way for that steam to escape. And that's what these corners - the holes in the corners will do for you. So what you do is cut the corners off and then take this pad of paper and soak it in water for about three to four minutes, get it really good water-logged and you're all set to go.

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