They appear as fragile as ice flakes and you can reflect yourself in them – objects made of glass. Blowing balls is a top priority, especially during the Christmas season.

Small glass blowers offer – even now – individual appointments to learn more about this handicraft and to mouth-blow your very own creations. For example in Linkenheim at “Glashalm” (only in German language). https://www.glashalm.de/weihnachten/

You should not confuse those small glass-blowing factories with a glass manufacturer, where glass is produced as base material in large blast furnaces. Glassblowers usually manufacture from semi-finished products (i.e. from glass tubes and rods), no matter if they produce industrial objects and decorative objects like neon tubes for advertising, thermometers, laboratory equipment or other small utensils. The focus here is on design. In contrast to the glassmaker, who also blows glass, the glassblower works “in front of the lamp/ flame”, at the open burner.

The devices used today, which are operated with compressed air and oxygen, allow temperatures of up to 2500 degrees celsius. This progress also opens up new possibilities for the artist. With a controlled supply of compressed air and oxygen, it can not only vary the temperature, but also influence the type of flame (oxidizing or reducing effect). This causes different chemical reactions of the auxiliary substances used, such as metal salts and/ or metal oxides, which leads to different surface effects (important for stability). Yes, there is even elastic glass. In addition, if necessary, colored glass crumbs and threads can be melted, which opens up an almost unlimited range of design possibilities for the lamp glass blower.

The behavior of different types of glass and chemical substances in the flame is a special science which needs to be carefully evaluated. Long series of tests with changing mixed ratios are often necessary before the desired result is achieved. It is therefore helpful to have an expert (woman) at your side who has prepared everything, securely monitors the process and professionally accompanies you through each of the following production steps:

  • Blowing a basic blank/cylinder from a glass rod
  • blowing a ball out of the blank,
  • the interior decoration of the balls,
  • and finally the closing the ball/ adding the hook

So don’t be afraid of fire! These very fine beauties cannot be engraved, but you could e.g. decorate them from the outside with glitter dust or snow spray.

I made a conscious decision to only use minimal ornaments to highlight the pure glass in order to allow the domination of transparency and lightness of this fantastic working material. To save space, I have chosen to hang my balls vertically on a floor lamp. The storage box, however, must be unbreakable so that the fragile beauties do not suffer.

At https://www.glashalm.de/ you can review prices and offers and compare them with other providers in your area. Let yourself be enchanted by this very personal recommendation and put yourself in a winter mood.

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Petra
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