When we are working in the studio you are welcome to stay and watch the creation of our glass artworks.
Glassblowing involves inflating molten glass by blowing through a hollow metal tube, called a blowpipe. The glass is then shaped into a variety of forms with the aid of a range of hand tools.
The raw material is called glass batch and is made from a mixture of highly refined sand, lime and soda as well as a few other materials that give it more clarity and allow it to maintain its heat for longer periods. This batch comes as a fine white powder and is made specifically for glassblowers.
When we put the glass batch into the furnace, heat melts it into clear glass which we work with at temperatures of over 1000 degrees centigrade.
The molten glass cools quite quickly and as it does it becomes hard. In order to keep working the glass we need to keep it in a hot, liquid form. This is done by frequently re-heating the glass in a piece of equipment called a glory hole. We alternate between shaping and heating until the piece is finished.
Once it has been made the piece needs to cool down very slowly otherwise it will break. We do this by placing it into a hot kiln which takes all night to cool down to room temperature.
It takes years of practice to become a glassblower but we do run beginners glassblowing classes and make your own paperweight sessions.
Glassblowing is hot and often heavy work. For this reason, even though our gallery is open Thursday – Sunday, we are not always blowing glass. If the weather forecast for Healesville is 30 degrees or more we do not blow glass, it becomes unbearably hot in the studio.
If you are coming to our glass blowing studio specifically to watch us working please phone ahead to make sure we will be blowing glass on the day you wish to visit.
Healesville Glass Blowing Studio
16 B Hunter Road, Healesville, Victoria
PO Box 304 Healesville 3777
PH: 03 5962 2211
Open Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm CLOSED FEBRUARY