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How to make Christmas Ornaments

These are the steps I learned at Glasslight

1. A single gather of glass at the end of the blowpipe. This will be about the size of a golf ball.
2. Pickup color (frit) onto the hot glass you just gathered.
3. Heat up the frit in the glory hole. If necessary, repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have sufficient color and it is hot!
4. Use wood block to shape into a perfect sphere, with as much workable glass as possible off the end of the blow pipe. In saying that this should be a sphere, that particularly means no point on the end.
5. Blow a core bubble into the glass. Can use "blow and cap" method. A blow hose works well, as you can easily see the progress of the bubble.
6. Once the bubble is started, reheat in the Glory Hole.
7. Sit back down at the Bench. Now you are going to blow the ornament. While you are blowing, use the jacks to make a very tight jack line. This must end up being a very small hole in the top of the ornament.
8. Place the ornament (still attached to the blowpipe) into an optic mold filled with Frax insulating material. You will be holding the blowpipe vertically at this point. The jack line will be chilled by running the jacks around the jack line. Then a tap on the blowpipe should release the ornament.
9. A this point you or someone else will gather a little glass on the end of a punty, which will be used to (1) seal the hole, and (2) make the hook so that the ornament can be hung. After gathering, marver ONCE, pulling towards you to lengthen the gather, and get more usable glass off the end of the punty.
10. Place the gather on the top of the ornament, holding the punty at about a 45 degree angle (in other words somewhat up in the air, so gravity tends to pull the glass off the punty). With diamond shears (also known as combo shears), pull the gather up to make the amount of glass smaller (this pulling motion can be done several time), and then cut off the glass, separating the punty from the ornament.
11. Using Needle Nose Pliars, twist the hook so that what was the top open end of the gather is now attached to the ornament, forming a hook.

Note: A one inch blowpipe may be ideal for ornaments. A 1.5 inch blowpipe might tend to gather too much glass.

At 12:20:29 December 10 2023 displayed this
glassblowing web page at last modified: December 22 2007