Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Other - Beauty & Style | Posted on 02-09-2015
Throughout history, the art of glassblowing has been a widely popular trade and hobby. From fine art, to dishes, to pipes, several beautiful and practical objects can be made from glass. Depending on your intentions, you can begin glassblowing as a trade or a hobby for a relatively minimal investment of time and money. This article should help you understand the history, attraction, and the basics of the art of glassblowing.
The very first appearance of glassblowing dates all the way back to 4000 BC with the first recorded appearance of man-made glass amulets and beads. During this time, the basics of creating glass were discovered through the melting of limestone, plant ash, and sand. The Mesopotamians inside Egypt created the first large glass containers in or around 1500 BC, creations that became highly prized amongst royalty and the very wealthy.
In the Roman Empire, the first glass blowpipe became a highly coveted treasure around 300 BC. In the middle ages, Venice became the first known region where glassblowing became a common trade. By the 17th century, window glass, glass bottles, and drinking glasses had become abundant.
Glassblowing came to the American colonies around 1607 when professional glassmakers began making decorative glass pieces for various uses.
The Basics of Glassblowing
There are several different ways to learn glassblowing. You might be able to find some classes in your area or even learn from an online course or ebook, and you’ll be surprised to discover how quickly you can become proficient. Many of the courses available also focus on necessary precautions and can advise what type of equipment you’ll need to get started. A good book to start with is Beginning Glassblowing by Edward T. Schmid. Schmid discusses the basics of glassblowing and his passion for the hobby is apparent throughout the text.
What it Costs to Get Started
If you’re interested in starting glassblowing as a hobby or as a trade, there are a few different expenses to consider. First off, you’ll need to consider how much you want to invest in learning how to blow glass and whether you want to take a formal class or if learning through online resources will suffice. Next, consider what your supplies will cost. Torches can cost anywhere from $160-$450 depending on the width of the flame and the quality of the torch. You’ll also need a kiln, which can cost roughly $500-$2000 depending on its size. After that, you’ll need oxygen, propane, regulators, protective gear, and of course, glass. The entire project could cost anywhere from $500-$4000 depending on the type of equipment that you buy.
Regardless of how involved you want to get with glassblowing, any involvement in the hobby can be rewarding. You might even surprise yourself with how quickly you take to it: can you imagine one of your glass masterpieces gracing an upscale gallery in New York? Even if you’d rather just focus on more practical or simple pieces, there is plenty of room for fun and creativity once you start glassblowing.
A self-identified glass and window expert, Dan Stratton enjoys contributing material on glassblowing, fancy windows, window replacement and other similar topics; those with replacement needs are encouraged to view the services of houstonwindowexperts.com/window-replacement-houston/.