Thursday, 9 December 2010

Working with hot glass

I was really really lucky today and had the chance to have a go at working with hot glass at World of Glass in St Helens.  We had the chance to each make a paperweight and also make a sandcast of an object.  I was pretty nervous about it at first, but we were quite a large group and I was one of the last to have a go, so by the time it was my turn I was just impatient to get going and had forgotten all about the nerves!

The tutor gathered some hot glass from the furnace for me and I had to keep it moving, turning it all the time.

Then I dipped it in coloured powdered glass...

Heating it in between each step, and remembering to keep it turning steadily all the time. You do get very very hot doing this!

I shaped the paperweight using a very sophisticated piece of equipment - 6 sheets of folded soaked newspaper!

The finished paperweight is now in the kiln cooling down very very slowly.  I can't wait to see it!


  1. Sounds very exciting Helen! I'm from Perth where the famous Caithness Glass paperweights used to be made. You used to be able to go and visit and watch all the glass being made and blown. It was all very exciting. Great that you have had a chance to get up close and have a go!

  2. I'm very jealous! Last time we watched the experts at work on the Isle of Wight I was surprised to see the patented wet newspaper in action - you imagine "special" stuff always!


Helen Smith, artist and maker in glass, print and stitch.


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