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Vase with flowers

For more pictures of my hand-blown glass, go to Gallery

Link to workshop where I do my glassblowing: barleylandsglassworks
They run one day beginner courses (which is how I started), and intermediate courses.

All my glass is lead crystal, based on clear glass, often with colour added. Some pieces include "MilleFiori" pieces from Murano (Venice): these are the round multi-coloured pieces that look like small slices of rock (one of these is in the picture above right). Colours are added in several ways: from solid colour, to give large blobs or trails as in the spiral vases; by picking up frit (or granules) of colour, as used in the tumblers; by sticking coloured cane (long thin rods of glass) onto the piece; or by rolling the clear glass in powder or very fine frit, to give an overall colour. Several pieces use more than one of these techniques (see the Black Whirled Vase), and I often twist and roll up the glass after adding the colours, before blowing, to acheive more varied results (see the vase above left). Most pieces take between 10 and 30minutes to make, so allowing for breakages I can produce up to 20 pieces in a day. After blowing, the pieces are put in the Leah (type of kiln, shown in the picture above right) to keep them hot, but below the softening point. Overnight, the Leah very slowly cools down so that the glass can be removed in the morning. This very slow cooling is essential to prevent thermal stresses being trapped in the glass and the piece cracking. Unfortunately, everything seems to shrink in the Leah, so vases that were very large and impressive when put in, seem much less so when they come out. Or  perhaps it is just me.