Mouth Blowing Glass vs. Scientific Glass Blowing (Lathe Blowing) Glass

Nowadays, the intricate artworks that are blown are good enough to blow your mind! Yes, we are talking about glassblowing. It is by definition termed as a glass-forming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble with the aid of a blowpipe or a blow tube.

Glassblowing, since ancient times, has been known as the art of creating decorative glass by manipulating molten glass. It was first developed in the Middle East around 300 BC. Since then, glass-blown products have become an essential part of everyday life followed by numerous innovations and art forms.

There are two types of Glassblowing: One very commonly used all around the world to create decorative to utility based pieces calls Mouth blowing and the other one is not very commonly used in Glass Art world but mainly used for laboratory or scientific glass production. However, Very recently this process has gained momentum in design world because of easy production with ready Glass hollow tube through Glass Lathe machine calls Quartz Scientific glass blowing technique.

Mouth Blowing or free blowing method

Image Source:

The most basic method of glass design, mouth blowing is the first and original method for working with the glass. The mouth blowing process requires placing heated and molten glass into a glass mold or at the end of the blowpipe, which is known as gather. The artist carefully rotates, inflates and swings the blowpipe while keeping a control on the temperature of the gather and incorporating air into the glass. This lets the glass take the intended shape or effect of the mold. Once removed from the mold, the bottom is flattened and the neck is shaped. A pontil (an iron rod used to hold or shape soft glass) is attached to the bottom and the vessel is freed from the blow pipe. The vessel is reheated and further refinements are made to the shape and form.

Shape your glass

Once the glass is steady, you need to carry it to a steel table called a marver and start shaping it by rolling the hot glass on a marver.

Cap — Blow into the pipe then cover the hole with your thumb. The pressure will cause the trapped air to expand inside the pipe. This will in turn create a bubble. This first gather or bubble is called the parison.

Gather Once Again and collect more glass around your bubble if any. It depends on how big you want your glass piece to be. Bigger pieces need more gathers.

Shape your piece and define your shape by rolling it on the marver. Keep rotating the rod at all times.

Cut in a jack line: After the piece is shaped, you cut the piece’s neck with large tongs known as jacks. Keep in mind that the neck should be either equal to or less than the diameter of your blow-pipe. Keep rotating your pipe!

Followed by this, open the glass and finish the piece, cool your pipe and trim the lip and lastly, with the use of a wooden block, tap the pipe forcefully and let your piece drop off the end of the pipe.

Lathe Blowing Glass Method

Image Source:

Lathe blowing also known as Quartz scientific glass blowing is a real art as well as a complex craft. This is the process by which some of the most durable, reliable and accurate pieces of scientific apparatus are made.

Any laboratory, whether it’s research, specialist medical, pharmaceutical, engineering or any other specialty, has to use glassware for experiments and verification. This apparatus needs to be made by specialist artisans who understand in detail how the glass will be used.

To create this super-efficient and reliable glassware, you have to start with a special raw material. In quartz scientific glass blowing the raw material is a substance commonly known as borosilicate glass. First developed in the 19th century in Germany by Otto Schott, a famous glass-maker, it became popularly known in the English-speaking world as Pyrex.

This trade name became applied to kitchenware as well as scientific glassware.

Specialist scientific glassware is produced by a highly skilled process of quartz scientific glass blowing. This differs from standard glass blowing in that the specialist blowers use only quartz and borosilicate glass. Standard glass blowers begin with a molten globule of glass from a furnace and work this into containers and artistic objects.

The scientific glass blower usually starts with an existing piece of specialist glass equipment and modifies into another shape or function. Like the standard glass blower, he is an artisan at heart but often will have a deep understanding of the scientific and experimental environment in which the glass equipment will be used.

A lathe is a machine that rotates the work-piece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as cutting, knurling, sanding, drilling, deformation, facing or turning with tools that are applied to the work-piece to create an object with symmetry about that axis.

Now that was the basic explanation. On the other hand, the glass-working lathes include the technique of slowly rotating a hollow glass tube made of pyrex glass over a fixed- or variable-temperature flame.

The flame source can either be hand-held or mounted to make it movable along the lathe bed. The flame softens the glass that is being worked on so that the glass becomes ductile and subject to forming the shape. The Lathe Glass Blower gives either by inflation (glassblowing) on a mould which is made out of Graphite and the mould is always half of the shape to be made or by deformation with any heat resistant tool.

Glass Blowing Lathe is done with a molded bed, carbon plate holder and burner that is suitable for the production of standard glass joint internal seal, flanges, bulb blowing, graded seal.

Well, the time and minute detail it takes to make these glass artworks a reality is no piece of cake. But your very own Glass art studio in Delhi, Glass Sutra makes it as easy as a pie. Under the guidance and support of one of the best glass artists in India, Reshmi Dey, you learn the basic skills, techniques, and ideas of mastering this unique and fine art form.