Before glass blowing was discovered glass was a very valuable commodity available only to the extremely wealthy and in small sizes. Around the end of the 1st century BC, glass blowing revolutionized glass production. With the invention of glass blowing, glass became a material valuable to the general public. This art was discovered somewhere along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, probably in Syria.
By blowing through a hollow tube, the experienced
glassblower can quickly produce intricate and symmetrical shapes out of the "gather" of
molten glass at the end of his tube. Alternatively, he can blow the molten
glass into a mould. The glass occasionally needs to be reheated to
make it workable again , as it cools, it hardens and cannot be expanded. Really
talented glass blowers can make beautiful objects by turning the glass in
certain ways and adding bits of color.
The glass artist works the glass at temperatures in excess of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, forming or blowing each piece individually, the process of shaping each individual object with tools made from steel, wood and paper can begin. Through continuous re-heats, application of colors and more gathering of clear glass, each object is created.
After the cooling process, normally between 12 and 24 hours, each piece is evaluated. Imperfect pieces are then recycled. Quality pieces are then cold worked, ground and hand polished, signed and dated, before being displayed.