Glass blower courses may be offered through undergraduate and graduate degree programs in fields such as art or architecture. Personal interest or continuing education programs also offer glass blowing courses for those with no experience. Students learn to color, cut and shape glass to create beautiful designs. Many glass blower courses cover repair techniques and safety concerns for working with glass. Due to the cost of equipment, most glass blower courses include a laboratory fee.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in glass blower courses:
- Glass blowing basics
- Control techniques
- Stained glass window designs
- Casting and fusing methods
- Lab tube creation
- Science tool repair
List of Courses
Glass Blowing 1: Basics and Fundamentals
In this introductory course, students learn basic techniques for blowing glass straight from a furnace. The process of collecting molten glass onto a blowpipe, shaping that glass and blowing it into the desired shape or vessel is taught through live demonstrations. By the end of this course, students know how to create well-formed cylinders out of colored glass.
Glass Blowing 2: Color and Size
Students in intermediate glass blower courses review basic skills before enhancing their repertoire and learning to make vases. Swedish glassblowing techniques are taught, along with methods for blowing large glass pieces and blocking methods. Also addressed are molten glass control techniques and how to use multiple colors in a single piece. Students practice raking, color mixing and body wrapping.
Mixed Media Glass Blowing
Third-tier glass blower courses are designed for intermediate glass blowers who wish to improve their skills. A mixed media glass blowing class combines furnace-based blowing with kiln work. Venetian caning, fusing, casting, hot-sculpting, engraving and painting techniques are integrated into high-level glass blower courses.
In this class, students practice techniques for coloring blown glass and creating stained glass window designs. They make patterns and select colors before decorating and installing the glass. In advanced stained glass courses, students may learn how to plate glass and apply gold staining or etching. Prior to taking this course, some programs may require students to have a background in engineering or architecture, which is typically taken toward the end of an art degree program.
Scientific Glass Blowing
The scientific glass blower course familiarizes students with the materials, tools, terminology and techniques of glass blowing. Unlike other glass blower courses, this class does not teach students how to create glass objects, but instead prepares them to make repairs with tubing and become familiar with how glass-making systems work. Because working with glass is dangerous, students observe safety measures and take precautions, including wearing appropriate clothing and safety glasses. This glass blowing class is designed to provide students with an overall understanding of glass blowing and design techniques.