Glass Blowing Techniques

Glass was traditionally produced using sand and sodium carbonate.


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Traditionally, the intense colours of Hebron glass included dark and light blue, turquoise, dark red (Bordeaux), and light and dark green. These colours were produced by adding metal oxides, such as those from iron and copper. Copper oxide is still used today to colour Hebron glass. Instead of sand, the raw material used to make Hebron glass today is primarily recycled glass, which is gathered from local houses, brought to the factory to be smashed, and re-melted.



The craftsman holds a long, thin iron pipe (80–100 cm) in one hand, and dips it into the molten glass inside the furnace, which is heated to 700° celsius. After withdrawing the pipe with some semi-liquid glass attached, he blows through the pipe, continuing the shaping process using a metal instrument called a kammasha. The pipe is then reentered into the furnace, reblown to further shape the object, and the kammasha is used for final shaping once again. Finally, the glass is set aside into a small chamber next to the furnace where it is cooled.


Required Tools

Other than a heating source, blowpipe and punty, a glassblower needs other important tools to help complete the job. A marver is a hard, flat surface used as an area that glass is rolled onto after it has been collected by the blowpipe. Blocks are another common tool used by a glassblower to mold and shape the glass. The glassblower uses a workstation, or bench, to further shape the glass with hand tools. Other tools that are used are jacks (tweezers with large blades) to make detailed adjustments and shears to cut the glass.



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