A glassblower takes the hot molten glass from a furnace and molds the glass into creative designs with a blowpipe. Glass can be used to make jewelry, artwork, stained glass, figurines, and art. It can be a labor-intensive, potentially hazardous, craft and can take years to become a skilled professional.
How to Become a Glassblower
Though no formal education is required, a glassblower may have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Some colleges and universities offer architecture glass, stained glass, and ceramics courses. However, gaining an apprenticeship with an accomplished glassblower to gain hands-on experience and an opportunity to observe and practice skills is important. A portfolio can be built from this experience and help further your career.
Glassblowers need an expanding portfolio with their design samples, commissions they have done, and proof of their creative techniques. Staying current in the glassblowing industry is essential to learn new techniques and changes in glass blowing. Taking seminars, attending craft fairs, visiting museums and private galleries are a few suggestions in staying on top of the industry. This is also a way to meet other artists and network. Patience and creativity are skills needed in the glass blowing profession. You will also handle various glass blowing tools like blowpipes, baking kilns, stencils, and engraving plates. As glassblowers work around extreme heat, following proper safety procedures is vital.
Glassblower Job Description
We have all seen beautiful glass art pieces, from vases to intricate stained glass or sculptures. Now let’s look at what is involved in making them. The artists select the colors needed to make the art piece and places a mass of glass in the furnace. The glass from the furnace is then blown into a bubble using a blowpipe and shaped into a rough vessel by moving the blowpipe in the air and rolling the glass on an iron surface or smooth stone.
The artist adds additional glass when needed and creates additional structures such as handles, stems, or feet, when the rough shape is ready by welding. The glassblower then finishes the form with hand tools or cutting shears. The completed product can also be stenciled, etched, or engraved with decorative techniques. Glassblowers and their assistants use two extended arm benches that the pipe keeps symmetrical for the molten glass. Glassblowers also restore, repair, or renovate original glass art pieces for clients. They sell their glass art to clients and attend art fairs to sell and establish contacts.
Glassblowers also attend training courses and seminars to stay updated on new techniques or gains in the industry and keep an eye on the market to see other products and compare the prices. Some glassblowers may need to supplement their work with other jobs while building their glass art careers. Glassblowing is a unique way to express creativity in the art world. Glass art can be functional and straightforward to complex sculptures. We wish you success in your career choice!