3 Cool Facts You Never Knew About Glassblowing

September 22, 2015

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If you’ve never been to one of your area’s local contemporary art events, then you’ve been missing out, especially if they feature glass artwork. This amazing art form has been evolving for centuries, and has now been elevated to a place you’ll have to see to believe.

Here are just a few, cool things you should know about glassblowing!

Glassblowing Is as Old as the Roman Empire.

Believe it or not, the invention of glassblowing actually coincided with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the first century before common era. Because it appeared at this point in history, glassblowing was able to spread more quickly, and became all the more popular.

Volcanoes and Lightning Bolts Were the Original Glassblowers.

In order to transform raw materials into glass, things need to be heated up to about 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. Obviously, that’s hot. To give you a better idea of just how hot that really is, glass was originally made in nature in one of two ways. First, glass was made when lightning struck sand, which sometimes fused it into slender glass tubes called fulgurites. Second, volcanic eruptions also sometimes fused rocks and sand together into a glass called obsidian.

Free-Blowing, and Mold-Blowing Are the Two Major Methods of Glassblowing Now.

Nowadays, the two major methods of glassblowing are free-blowing, and mold-blowing. Free-blowing involves blowing short puffs into a molten portion of glass, which has been spooled at one end of the blowpipe. Mold-blowing, on the other hand, involves placing a glob of molten glass on the end of a blowpipe, and inflating it into a wooden or metal carved mold so that the texture of the bubble of glass is determined by the design on the interior of the mold, rather than the blower’s skill.

If you haven’t been to any modern art exhibitions featuring glassblowing, check to see if there’s an art event in your area sometimes soon. If you have any questions, feel free to share in the comments.