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How to Handle Hot Handblown Glass Safely

Learn how to handle hot handblown glass safely from glassblower Todd Hansen in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hello, my name's Todd Hansen. We're here at the Art of Fire Contemporary Glass Bowing Studio in Laytonsville, Maryland. We're at www.artoffire.com. I've been a glass bower for about twelve years now, I've got several different lines of glasswork that I work on, and I'll be talking to you about glass blowing. Molten glass on the end of a blowpipe is a really lively material. You'll notice that when you're watching glass blowers that we're always turning our pipes in our hands. Glass first comes out of the pipe from the furnaces around 2000, between 2000 and 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. And that's like having a blob of honey on the end of a broomstick. You've got to continually turn the pipe to keep it from just puddling off on the studio floor. Once you get the glass gathered up, keep it turning, take it back, you can shape it either by marvering or by using the blocks, but you always want to make sure you've got a good balance between your hands on the pipe. You've got a one hand over, one hand under - one hand over, the left hand usually acts a lever, and the back hand, the right hand, usually acts as the counterweight, so you've got a fulcrum, you've got a balance, and that allows you to carry the glass around the studio safely. Keep it in front of you, so you can see where you're going, and let everybody else know when you're walking behind them. A little situational awareness goes a long way. Know what everybody else around you is doing before you move from your bench, or your glory hole or the furnace, and you should be able to handle that pretty safely.

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