Paperweight Classes

Paperweights

Classes can be scheduled over the phone at a time that best fits your schedule. 

The paperweight is the most fun and forgiving piece for first time glass blowers. The paperweight teaches you the basic fundamentals of gathering, coloring, shaping, and transferring the piece off the pipe. 

 

Our number one concern for each class is that every student understands the basic safety precautions we must all take to ensure nobody is injured during the lesson. 

 


Each class starts with a tour of our studio, where we will teach you how to maneuver throughout the hot shop safely. Your instructor will demonstrate how to handle the blow pipe and tools properly to ensure no one gets burnt. 

 

Steps

 

1.) Glass is gathered out of furnace at 2,050 degrees. It will then be brought over to the color table and ‘frit’ or ‘color’ will be applied to the glass. 

Frit (Color) Talble

2.) After the color is applied, it will then be melted into the clear glass in the glory hole at 2,150 degrees.

Glory Hole

 

3.)  Once the color is melted in with the clear glass, you will bring the hot glass back to the bench, where you will sit and maneuver the color to design the look of your paperweight.  You will be back and forth from your bench to the glory hole as many times as needed to get the color mixed in the preferred design. 

 

4.) The glass will then be cooled down, where you will get your final gather of glass. This will act as the clear coat of your paperweight. The object here is to paper and shape your glass into a semi-spherical shape or preferred shape you may be trying to achieve.

 

5.) Once the shape is in place, the paperweight will be heated and the ‘jack-line’ or ‘scoreline’ will be created. Your instructor will assist you to ensure the jack-line is created off the end of the blowpipe. This jack-line will be the transfer point of your paperweight. When the paperweight is cool enough, it will then be taken over to the knock off table where it will be detached from the blowpipe and placed in the annealer.

 

 

The annealer will be at 920 degrees and will slowly decrease in temperature over the coarse of 18 hours. Cooling the glass at a slow pace will release the stress out of the glass so it does not crack or shatter.