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Getting Started in Glass Blowing - Creating Bongs, Pipes, & Dab Rigs

| Tom Parry
To really pursue the craft of glass blowing, you have to learn the basics. In this guide we outline everything from the initial research all the way up to opening your own glass studio.

Introduction to Glass Blowing

The craft of glass blowing is an intricate but rewarding experience to go through. Many people underestimate the art and craft of glass blowing, but we’re here to tell you that, while it might not be a walk in the park, experienced glass blowers will tell you that the effort to pursue the craft is more than worth it. Glass blowing is a craft that has existed for centuries, with a rich history dating all the way back to 1st century BC. It is one of the first skills honed by mankind, and it continues to evolve with influences of the cultures and people that continue to innovate. With how timeless this skill is, there is only room to expand onward and grow the craft through your own experiences.


Step 1: Basic Research

Googling Glass Blowing – Where to Begin?

A good place to start when googling about the craft of glassblowing could be the plenty of online threads that are made up of glass blowers of all skills and styles. Social media sites like Reddit or Instagram can serve as a good start to explore the world and craft of glassblowing. Depending on what kind of glassblowing you’re trying to accomplish, it’s good to google specific keywords that pertain to which area of the craft you’d like to pursue.

Essential Reading and Resources for Beginners

As previously mentioned, some of the places to gather in-depth first-hand knowledge include subreddits dedicated to the craft. Popular subreddits like r/glassblowing and r/glass heads contain a wide collection of well-versed veterans in the glass-blowing industry. There are a plethora of subreddits that feature custom glass work like r/Artisan Videos, r/lamp work and r/scientific glasswork are all more than valid options to explore and expand your own knowledge and expertise.

Step 2: Learning the Basics

Finding and Choosing Glass Blowing Classes and Workshops

To really pursue the craft of glass blowing, you have to learn the basics. Luckily, there are plenty of in-person and online resources that can assist you in getting down with the basics. Many in person resources can be found by searching for local glass classes and studios. However, If your schedule or other circumstances inhibit you from learning in-person, there are a wide range of online resources available for your convenience Some of these online resources include:

  • Skill Share – an online hub of professionals in every category that offer classes in any field.
  • Revere Glass – Offer 19.99$ a month subscription that gives access to project videos, zoom courses, and glass blowing guides.

Key Skills and Techniques for Beginners:

Beginners in glassblowing should develop a solid foundation of skills that can be expanded on to more complex and intricate work.

Some of these skills include heat control, glass gathering, marvering, blowing, and basic shaping techniques.

Heat control involves learning how to gauge and control the temperature of the glass, as well as knowing how to operate the furnace and other heating equipment. Glass gathering includes the mastering of the practice of gathering the right amount of molten glass onto the blowpipe. Marvering is the use of a marver to shape and cool the glass. Blowing includes the skill to control one's breath to blow into the glass and create bubbles within it. The shaping techniques you’ll learn involve paddling and rolling, which will have you using paddles to flatten or shape the glass. These are all crucial skills to learn and develop when getting into glassblowing.

Gathering Your Tools and Materials


Essential Equipment for Starting Out in Glass Blowing

Essential Equipment for glass blowing includes a furnace to melt raw glass, a reheating chamber to keep the glass malleable to work on, and an annealing oven to slowly cool your glass pieces and allow them to settle. These are just the basic necessities for the act of glassblowing, there are still a variety of tools needed to masterfully shape and mend your glass.

These tools include blowpipes, pontil rods, marvers, jacks, shears, tweezers, paddles, blocks, and benches. It’s also important to remember essential safety equipment like eye protection, gloves, aprons, and proper ventilation to ensure that your glassblowing
is done in the safest manner.

Tips on choosing quality materials

As they say, anything worth doing is worth doing right. When it comes to glassblowing, this means finding the best quality materials to produce your glass. All of the previously mentioned tools are imperative to ensure that your glass blowing is done in the bestway. However, its also important to peruse the exact types of materials you will be using such as borosilicate and soft glass. Borosilicate is good for durability and resistance to
thermal shock, while soft glass is easy to mold at lower temperatures but more susceptible to thermal shock. When it comes to what kind of tools and materials you purchase for your venture into glassblowing, make sure to look into what fellow glassblowers recommend or prefer.

Step 4: Practicing Your Craft

It’s not unheard of that you will face challenges while getting yourself immersed in the world of glassblowing. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Many talented glassblowers have encountered beginners’ bad luck through minute mistakes cracking a painstakingly crafted glass mold. These accidents will happen, but if you stay the course and stay consistent with practicing the craft, then you are guaranteed to improve over time and avoid any major mistakes.


Step 5: Joining a community

Benefits of Joining Glass Blowing Communities and Forums

After you develop a basic grasp on the craft of glassblowing, the logical next step is to join a group of like-minded glass-blowing enthusiasts. The best way to expand your knowledge and skills past the basic level is to engage with a community of artists who have been involved in the craft for years, Not only will you gain a new perspective on the yourself attracted to a specific niche of glassblowing that suites your fancy.

Selling Your Art

Preparing to sell –Pricing and Presentation tips

When you’re finally ready to sell your pieces of blown glass, it’s essential to market your glass in a way that brings in the attention and cash your glass deserves. Make sure to put your best pieces at the forefront, focusing on your most well-crafted pieces. Any pieces that have any eye-grabbing custom flair should be front and center on your marketplace. The pricing of your glass should reflect the time and effort each one took. Simpler pieces will naturally be priced less expensive, and your most intricate pieces will be top dollar.

Popular Platforms for selling glass art

Online platforms are the perfect way of marketing and selling your glass art. Some popular online platforms include Etsy, Amazon, and so on. It’s best to cast a wide net and try selling on as many sites as you can at first to see where the most interest is picked up on for your glasswork, then dial in on selling more on the most efficient platform.

Step 7: Opening Your Shop

Planning your glass-blowing business

Once you find yourself selling glass like hotcakes, it’s time to move on to opening your own shop. When planning on your glass-blowing business, use a website creator like Wix or Squarespace to build a home base for all of your custom blown glass. Make sure to start small and not overwhelm yourself with too high of a demand.

Considerations for opening a Physical or Online Shop

Depending on local demand, opening a physical shop might yield you more opportunities to sell locally compared to selling through an online shop. Look to your local arts scene and try to ascertain whether or not there’s a niche to be filled for glass art. If not, then it could still be worth opening a physical shop if the glass is selling well where you live.

Step 8: Partnering with Giggle Glass

Benefits of Selling on Giggle Glass

If you’re looking to avoid the headache of starting your own glass marketplace, then Giggle Glass is the optimal choice for easy stress-free glass selling, When you sell with Giggle Glass, you eliminate the hassle of trying to sell your art completely by yourself. Because Giggle Glass works as an established marketplace for quality glass art, you only have to worry about the actual quality of your craft instead of how you’re going to sell it.

How to Get Started with Giggle Glass

If you’d like to start selling your glass art on Giggle Glass, then look to getting in touch! It’s much easier than you would think to get your custom glass art out there, especially on Giggle Glass, where they are constantly in search on hot new innovative glass work. On their site, you’ll find link that will connect you with Giggle Glass officials who wouldbe more than interested to peruse your glass work.


Overall, pursuing the craft of glass blowing, whether as a hobby or profession, is a valuable skill that will enrich your life and the lives of those who can enjoy the glass work you produce. Should you follow these steps to becoming a proficient glass blower, you may find yourself turning around a pretty penny by selling through sites like Giggle Glass for your passion. Don’t underestimate the joys that can come from glass blowing, and try it out for yourself!

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