Saturday, 22 September 2012

Hot Shop at the Tacoma Glass Museum

The Tacoma Glass Museum contains a 'HOT SHOP' where glass is blown.
Entry to the museum includes the HOT SHOP.

The boss ....
This is the product they will make below.
There are several ovens, tables and equipment in a large area. The public can watch from arena seating or a cat walk above. 
They start with a pole dipped in molten glass and turn it on a table to  shape it.

It goes back and forth from the oven dozens of time.
Shaping continues with wet newspaper and a cast iron pan

Calipers measure and shape. 
Wooden paddles help support the weight  and  shape.
The blow torch shapes and heats to allow cutting.
A second pole is added to the bottom (not shown), 
the first pole is is cut off and 
the second pole is then used to support the glass object.
What will be the top is now pinched off, cut with calipers and flattened with the paddle.

Click on the arrow below the video for a few seconds of live action!

It is smoothed on the outside to ensure it is level and the top  is smoothed and flared a little.

The outside is torched to make it glossy and the end is tapped to remove the pole. In an instant, a man with an asbestos suit swoops in and picks up the  vase  to place it in a cooling oven.

I've seen the process before, but still find it fascinating!

I find it interesting that some of the tools are very basic: wet newspaper, wooden paddles and the poles ... just as in the past.

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