Glass Glossary


furnaceFurnace: The heat source for glassblowing and source for the molten glass used in blowing. Glassblowing furnaces are typically gas-powered and are heated to over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,100 degrees Centigrade.)




GLORY HOLEGloryhole: A barrel that remains at over 2,400 degrees in which molten glass is reheated for shaping. A piece can be reheated several times to keep the glass workable.

Yoke: Stand which supports blowpipes while the glass is being reheated in the gloryhole.




PIPEWARMERPipe Warmer: Chamber used to reheat the ends of blowpipes and puntys. Glass will only adhere to steel if it is hot enough.





blowpipeBlowpipe: Hollow metal pipe (usually carbon steel or stainless
steel) used to gather and blow air into hot glass. It has a mouthpiece on one end and is usually flared at the other end. The flare helps to retain the molten glass.




SethBlowing_600x450Punty Rod: A solid metal rod onto which a blown piece is tranfered and adhered with a small gob of hot glass. This allows the glassblower to the open the mouth of the form to make a blown vessel.

Exact Torch: A high pressure torch used to heat specific parts of the glass object while it is being made.



gf2014-ms-glassblowingbest1Gather: The process of placing molten glass onto the end of a blowpipe – the end of the pipe is placed into the mass of furnace glass and twirled. The process is similar to using a dipper to take honey from a jar. Also the name for the actual mass of glass on the end of the pipe at the beginning of the blowing process.

Marver: Metal table used to add color and aid in shaping hot glass on a pipe. In the old days, marvers were made of marble slabs, hence their name.


toolsPaddles: Wooden tools used to flatten the bottoms of pieces and protect the glassblowers from the heat of the furnace.

Diamond Shears:  A tin-snip-like tool with two blade surfaces: the outer aspect is rounded and used to hold a pipe and the inner aspect is sharp in order to cut the glass.



blockBlock: Large wooden spoon-shaped tool for shaping glass.

Bench: Glassblower’s work station – arms of the bench act as supports for rolling the blowpipe.




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJacks: A very important glassblowing tool with two long metal blades secured at the top by a u-shaped miniature marver called a “heel.” Jacks, which resemble a large pair of tweezers, come in a variety of sizes and have many uses including shaping, opening pieces and adding in a jack line.




annealerAnnealer: A large oven that is used to gradually cool the molten glass from approximately 900 ⁰F to room temperature.





glass rodsGlass Color: Glass coloring comes in several forms and is added to the piece in progress in a variety of ways. Soft glass color is manufactured by only four major companies in the world – one in New Zealand and three in Germany.
Bar Color: Glass color in the form of hard bars of solid color which can be cut into the size needed for the project. Clear glass is infused with metals, chemicals and minerals to produce various colors and effects.



Frit: Glass color in powdered or ground form. Frit can range in size from fine powder like talc to pieces the size of gravel. The different sizes give different color effects from all over coverage to a mottled, dappled effect. Hot glass is rolled through the frit which is laid out on the marver. Since the frit is also made of glass, the heat of the molten glass piece melts the color into the vessel.




culletCullet: bits of clear glass suitable to be melted and blown. They can be recycled waste glass or ordered in 50lb bags.





batchBatch:  a mixture of raw materials ready for fusion into glass


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