1. GATHERING MOLTEN GLASS ONTO A BLOWPIPE
The tip of the blowpipe is first preheated, then dipped in the molten glass in the furnace. The molten glass is ‘gathered’ on to the blowpipe in much the same way that honey is picked up on a dipper.
The glass in the furnace is melted at 1430°C. Glass temperature starts to drop as soon as it is taken out of the furnace, therefore glassworkers have a very limited window of time to shape the product while the glass is still soft (at temperatures around 1000-1200°C).
2. PRE-SHAPING GLASS USING A WOODEN PADDLE
Glassblowing first requires a pre-shape of the product, which is formed using a wooden paddle and bwet paper. Paddle can be made of wood, aluminium, metal or steel. Paddles are of different sizes and shapes – depending on the final shape of the product.
A glob of molten glass is then inflated into a wooden carved mold, made of beech or pear wood. The shape of the glass sphere is determined by the design on the interior of the mold. Each shape requires its own mold. In approximately 3-4 hours molds have to be replaced due to high temperatures.
4. MAKING A GOBLET STEM WITH GLASSMAKING TWEEZERS
Master glassblowers make stems using special tweezers. Assistant brings a glob of molten glass from the furnace and sticks it onto an already shaped cup. Glassblower forms a long elegant stem by pulling the drop with the tweezers while rotating the pipe.
5. MAKING THE GOBLET BASE WITH GLASSMAKING SCISSORS
Master glassblower adds some more molten glass on an already formed stem and stretches it out to a desired diameter with glassmaking scissors.
It takes at least 4 glassmakers working in an established sequence to make a single goblet.
6. TRANSFER TO THE ANNEALING BELT
Due to the high temperature of a product glassmaker uses a special fork to take the product to the annealing belt. Cooling down is a very slow process so as to prevent tension, which may cause cracking during further processing phases.
Once a product is at a room temperature, excess glass on the top of the cup (where the glass-blowing pipe was) is removed, rim polished with fire or on a felt belt.