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glass blow pipe

Glass blow pipe

Shears: Heavy duty steel scissors for cutting or trimming the hot glass. They come in many shapes and sizes for different functions.

Blowpipe: A hollow steel tube usually about five feet long, with a mouthpiece at one end, used for blowing glass.

Pontil (or Punty): A solid steel rod used to take glass (gather) from the furnace and used to transfer the glass blown object from the pipe so that the opening of the glass piece can be worked on and finished.

Yoke: This is a support to help hold the pipe while the glass blower is heating the piece in the glory hole or when gathering glass from the crucible.

Jack: A stainless steel tool (like giant tweezers) used to make a crease in the hot glass. The glass blower makes a “jack mark” at the spot where he wants to break the piece off from the blow pipe. The jacks are also used in opening up the top of the piece after it has been transferred from the pipe.

Blocks: These are wooden tools, shaped like big ladles, used to shape and cool the glass as it is being worked. They are usually made from hard woods, like cherry, and come in many sizes.

The blocks must be kept soaking wet at all times, or they will dry out and crack. This is how they work:

After the glass blower gets the hot glass on the end of the blow pipe it needs to be shaped, so he picks up a wet block and rolls the glass back and forth inside the wooden cup.

The hot glass against the wet wood creates steam. Steam is tiny little bubbles which act like ball bearings that the glass rolls on.

The block must be dipped in water every few seconds to keep it wet while the glass is being worked.

Marver: A smooth flat surface, usually a steel table top, on which hot glass is rolled while attached to the pipe or pontil. This is to cool and shape the glass. Also used to lay out colored bits of glass (frit) on and then the hot glass is rolled over top and picks up the color which is then melted into the piece.

Bench: Where the glass blower sits while working with the glass on the pipe or pontil.

Definitions and images of tools used in the process of creating traditional hand blown glass