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The Glass Blowing Process

When we have decided on a design, our first step is to create the correct colors out of glass. Each color stripe in the glass is called a cane, and must be hand made before we can begin. In this process the dense color we have chosen must be covered with clear glass and stretched out (sometimes to lengths of 20 ft. or more). The long pull of color leaves us with the desired shape, size, and color density for just one of the colors in each piece. After all the colors of a design have been made into these canes we can start to make the beginning patterns for our line of glass.

Each cane is cut and laid out next to one another on a ceramic like plate, creating the sequence of color. This plate and pattern is placed into a heating oven (called a glory hole) to begin melting the glass canes together. Using extremely high temperatures around 2000 degrees) the canes are fused together. The flat pattern is then rolled up around the end of a blow pipe and the glass blowing process begins. We layer molten clear glass over the canes to create more mass, then the glass is blown up and expanded, stretching and lightening the original pattern. The glass is shaped using a variety of metal and wooden tools and once finished, it is placed into a cooling oven which starts around 1000 degrees. This oven slowly cools the piece over a course of 12 - 15
 hours until it reaches room temperature.