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Introduction


While I was researching a story on artistic glass blowing for Southeast Ohio Magazine, I had trouble locating web sites with strong information.  With this site, I hope to bridge that gap, and provide an overview of the art of glass blowing.  This site contains numerous links to websites containing information valuable to anyone interested in glass blowing.

Glass blowing is a traditional form of art, requiring patience, intution and skill.  Glass blowers spend years refining and developing their skills through a trial and error process.  Although there are many schools, classes, and workshops throughout the world, glass blowing is often taught as an apprenticeship, or by experimentation.  It is an art that takes an extremely temperate material and shapes it into delicate and beautiful art.

"The beauty of glass is that you can create anything.  You can shape the glass into something totally life-like," says Jim Embrescia, a glass artisan in Athens, Ohio.



Chapter 1:  a brief History of glass

Glass Online offers a brief History of glass from its discover in 5000 B.C.  They document the origins of blowing glass to a Syrian craftsman some time between 27 BC and AD 14.  A long thin metal tube was used to blow the glass into molds, surprisingly similar to the forms used today. This site is valuable because it is a concise documentation of the history of glass blowing.



Chapter 2:  glass Production

This link is part of a lecture by Professor John J. Mills of the Univeristy of Texas at Arlington.  His Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department offers Introduction to Manufacturing Engineering (MSE 3344).  This portion is taken from Professor Mills' spring semester 2000 lecture.  The course is designed to cover the "broader aspects of manufacturing as well as details of individual processes including casting, metal removal, environmentally conscious manufacturing and finishing."  The portion included is a scientific overview of the processes of glass production, including many diagrams.  Email Professor John J. Mills.



Chapter 3:  building and maintaining a Hot Glass Studio

Glass Notes is a publication providing information for people who are interested in owning or maintaining a hot glass studio.  They claim to hold the answers to technical questions, purchasing information, and a "mess of other hot glass related information."  They include a Dr. Glass hot line for those questions not answered directly in the text. This site is "a reference for the glass artist and the only comprehensive reference written for studio glass artists, teachers, and students, as well as anyone interested in the wonderful world of glass. Internationally renown artist and glass educator, Henry Halem, explains through easily understood words and drawings the intricacies of constructing and maintaining the glass studio. Fifteen sections of hot glass information include everything from furnaces, glory holes, and annealers to burners and burner safety. But that's just for openers. There are sections on heat flow, annealers and digital annealer controllers as well as were to buy them. There is information from other experts in the field on other glass related subjects. The pros and cons of brick versus fiber insulation is discussed, as well as an overview on all types of refractory materials. Glass studio safety is discussed at length. Exclusive, detailed information on Klaus Moje's Kiln Casting is revealed along with Jose Chardiet's secrets of sand casting. If you're in the dark about where to purchase glass-related equipment and materials, the Vendors section at the back of the book is for you. Not only does this resource list tell you where to buy glass-related supplies but Halem also provides his own personal and often humorous commentary on many of the products. There is so much more in this book that it is impossible to list it all. Suffice it to say this book is for anyone that has a desire to blow glass in his or her own studio."



Chapter 4:  The presence of Women in glass art

Glass blowing catches on with women artists, is an article by Joy Hakanson Colby, a Detroit News Art Critic.  In her article, she highlights the life of Detroiter Theresa Pierzchala, a career glass artist, maker and exhibitor of glass objects and one of two women teaching hot glass at Detroit's Center for Creative Studies. The article focuses on women artists in a field dominated by men.



Chapter 5: High Schools blow glass into curriculum

There's art in the air as students blow glass is a story by Barbara Brachtl as a Special to The Seattle Times.  It features Bellevue school's new glass-blowing studio - one of only two public-high-school glass studios in the nation (the other is in Wisconsin).
Working with one or two assistants, each student drew a glob of molten glass from a furnace, blew a hollow into it, worked it at a bench, reheated it in a high-temperature gas oven when it began to harden and shaped it further - and ultimately deposited it in a large oven known as an annealer for a slow, controlled cool-down from 800 degrees.  Hopefully, with projects like these, glass blowing will be made available to people without the contacts or resources to begin on their own.  Also, highschool students will be able to develop an appreciation and understanding of the art of glass blowing.



Chapter 6:  video and instruction on blowing Glass Ornaments

instruction
this site includes a pictoral step-by-step process of blowing an ornament


Chapter 7:  Links to glass sites
There are 371 links on this page, relating to the following forms of glass:
 Lampworking / Flameworking, Glass Beads, Marbles, Paperweights, Off-Hand Glassblowing, Hot Neon, Fused Glass, Scientific Glassblowers, Supplier / Equipment, Stained Glass, Glass School, Glass Publication, Cold Glass Working, GlassGalleries & Museum, Cast Glass.



Chapter 8:  illustrated glass Dictionary

This link is a large dictionary of terms relating to glass.  It offers a search engine of its resources to help guide you to the word you need.


Chapter 9:  Suppliers of machinery, materials, equiptment and plants

A yellow pages list of glass suppliers of machinery, materials, equiptment and plants of art glass.