After all the prior processes, it is now time for the real blowing of the pipe that connects with the cylindrical glassware. The process is straightforward though it is coordinated with regular movements to the Glory Hole for further heating and rolling. This whole process is dependent on the size and shape of the glass blower the artist desires, and this is achieved through a cycle to the Glory Hole, to the mouth of the blower and eventually to the steel table for further shaping. Eventually, it is now time to make an opening on the cylinder, and this is achieved in a place called the ‘punty’. The base of the glassblower will be placed on the ‘punty’, and the opposite phase gives the artist the chance to make the hole of their choice.
5. Transfer to the punty
This is a very complicated procedure whose main desire is to break the glass and give it shape. The procedure is, first of all, the embedding of the heated glass onto the ‘punty’ and when the time is ripe, an assistant will try to break the one-half of the glass through a process called ‘rapping’. Artists go through a very tough time during this stage, as more often than not, the glass would fall off and break forcing them to start the whole process all over again.
6. Opening up the piece in the ‘punty.’
The remaining piece on the ‘punty’ is not yet through with the process. It is taken back to the Glory Hole for more heating and then back to the steel bench to open its mouth. Depending on the artist’s desire, the shape and size of the glassblower can be varied through a cycle to the steel bench and into the Glory Hole until the ideal shape is achieved. Of course, there are several other paraphernalia on the bench that acts as tools to aid a completely outstanding final glassblower. However, the artist is not yet through with the whole procedure at this stage. They still have to remove the piece from the punty, which is easier said than done. Firstly, the artist would avail a box full of soft blanket beneath the ‘punty’ to hold the glass once it drops from the ‘punty’ without having to break it and render the whole process useless.
7. Cooling process
This is the final process that aids at giving it the final concrete shape. It is achieved through the use special gloves, and a special oven called annealing oven. This special oven can gradually degrade its temperature to room temperature from an amazing 950â°F. This allows the glass inside to gradually lose its heat giving it an eventual concrete shape. The reason why annealing oven is used is to allow for slow cooling since instant cooling of a very hot glass will lead to eventual cracking. This procedure is not, however, a hundred percent crack-free. Artists would often find rough surfaces at the bottom of the glass, and this demands that the artist grinds them off to give it a smooth texture. Glassblowing requires one to be quite tenacious and patient, but the good thing is that it can be done by virtually everybody interested because it doesn’t involve a lot of energy but skill.
How does one differentiate authentic glassblower from fake ones?
Expectedly, mediocre companies have joined the industry by producing fake glassblowers and reaping highly from unknowing customers. The following are among the characteristics of an authentic glassblower that should give you the go-ahead to purchase one:
1. The physical look
When buying the glassblower, give it a keen look and identify whether it looks like it was hand-made. A handmade glassware often exhibits features like rough surfaces and bubbles inside the glass, and the glass itself, as well, should not be too light as the artists apply layers upon layers of glass to give it authenticity.
2. Certificate of the producer
The producing company’s certificate should be available for the purchase of glassblowers. The signature, as well, should be engraved on the glass authentically as a symbol of the producer’s mark of quality. As if that is not enough proof, the base of the glassblower should be having physical signs of grids where the ‘punty’ held during the opening up process. If the bottom surface is completely smooth, there is a sign of falsehood, and you should be cautious.
3. Reputability of the seller
This seeks to understand the credibility of the seller because it tells just how authentic the merchandise is. There are several stores around town that auction glassblowers around the country and the market beyond, but it is your duty as the buyer to have in mind the ones that are known to sell quality products. The price, as well, dictates the authenticity of a glassblower. Fake glassblowers often come with prices that are way below the expected price tag of a quality glassblower. Every time you pop into the store, therefore, look at the prices they come with and compare it with the normal prices. The main thing, therefore, is for you to be very cautious when purchasing glassware lest you become a prey to cons that are out to reap cheap money. This is not to say that there are no real companies out there that produce authentic glasses, but you should be updated on the companies that are known to manufacture quality products and those that are in constant experimenting with cheap and low-quality glassblowers that will not last a week.