Glass Blowing FAQ

faqGBbuttonGlass Blowing FAQ…

Arrival Time

Plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your hot shop reservation time slot. Before you start your glass blowing experience you will need to check in, sign our liability waiver and choose your colors. It is also a good time to browse the gallery, watch others blowing glass, or check out other class opportunities in the studio.

Please be respectful of others and arrive on time, you will be in a session with other participants and it is not nice to make them wait.

Session Times

Workshop times vary from 15-120 minutes and is based on the number enrolled in the workshop and the projects being completed.

Restrictions

Glass Blowing is not recommended for expecting mothers.
All participants must be at least 5 years or old to enter the hot shop for Glass Blowing.
Glass Blowing for Kids (ages 5 to 9) experiences are limited in participation to only the blowing and expanding of the glass. In our Glass Blowing for Kids there will be absolutely no handling of the pipe (such as in our 9+ classes) due to safety precautions.

Clothing Restrictions

Closed toe shoes ONLY, No flip flops or sandals permitted in Hot Shop!

Remember it is called a Hot Shop for a reason! Please wear light weight cotton clothing.

When will my project be available?

All blown glass objects made must go through an overnight annealing process and will not be available for same-day pick-up. Most objects can be picked up 2 business days later after 10:00 a.m. Studio Hours 10am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday. If pickup is not possible we do offer shipping. Please inquire after your class..

Shipping

Shipping is available for those who cannot come back to pick up the project. Shipping starts at $16.00.

Taking pictures in the studio

You are more than welcome to take as many photos as you want during your glass experience. You can bring some else along to take photos. We welcome them back in the hot shop as long as they sign the liability release waiver.

Cancellation / No Show Policy

Please note you must give the studio 48 hours notice to cancel or change your reservation.

No Show / Cancellations with less than 48 hours are subject to a $20.00 fee per person. Please understand we are a small business. Our classes are non-refundable. We will be happy to reschedule your appointment with 48 hours advance notice. When you do not show up for a class, and do not give us the required 48 hours’ notice like we ask, we lose the opportunity to teach another customer just like yourself who wants the opportunity to work with glass. A no show is just that.

faqGBbuttonStudio General FAQ…

Studio Hours

Open 5 Days a week
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Open extended hours for private events.

Studio Location

12230 SW Main Street ~ Tigard, Oregon 97223

Contact the Studio

Phone: 503.244.7811
Email: livelaughloveglass@gmail.com

Scheduling / Reservations

Yes. We recommend that you sign up online before you visit The Studio for all hands on activities, as spots fill very quickly, especially during school breaks, weekends and summer months. You can also make same-day or advance reservations by calling 503.244.7811.

Payment Options

Payment at time of reservation is required and is non-refundable. We accept all major credit cards and cash.

Parking

Primary parking is available in front of our gallery. Overflow parking is at the end of Paddle Palace or on street parking is available.

Liability Waiver

All participants must complete and sign a liability release. Liability Waiver

Why we, at Live Laugh Love Art, don’t repair glass

We are sorry, but because we do not specialize in glass repair we cannot offer this service.  Learn more about glass adhesives here

Pets at the studio

Service animals are more than welcome in The Studio. However, we do not allow pets.  Please be aware we are a glass studio and glass frit lands on the floor and pets do not have shoes on to protect their paws.

Internet access

Yes. The Studio has free public wireless internet access; just ask the front desk for the current access code.

Prepaid Vouchers

  1. Please allow us 24-48 hours to activate your voucher code in our online booking system prior to booking your reservation.
  2. Please locate your prepaid voucher (ie Groupon / Living Social / Etc)
  3. Look to see which hands activity / project you purchased
  4. Check the promotional value expiration and schedule prior to the promotional value expiration
  5. Make your reservation online and put the voucher number in the promo code box.
  6. Sessions booked after the promotional value expiration will be subject to additional money owed at the time of the class.

Prepaid Voucher Cancellation / No show Policy

If you have a Prepaid Vouchers and do not give the required 48 hours’ notice you are subject to either /or.

  1. The redemption of your voucher, you forfeit the whole value of the voucher.
  2. You pay the rescheduling fee of $20 and then you are welcome to reschedule

whatisglassblowing

faqGBbuttonAbout the Glass Blowing process….

At what temperature does glass begin to flow?

By definition, glass has a random arrangement of atoms. Upon cooling, these atoms are often locked into place before they can form regular and uniform bonds with their neighbors. Because of randomness in bond strength, melting doesn’t occur at a specific temperature. Instead, it occurs over a range of temperatures, usually 1100° to 1400° F.

Do you have to blow hard to inflate glass?

To start the initial bubble, the glass maker uses as much pressure as you would use to blow up a party balloon. Once started, the glass inflates very easily. As the glass cools, it continually stiffens, becoming harder and harder to inflate. Most items made at the Hot Glass Show are hand formed without molds. Mold blowing, blowing often requires high pressures, sometimes glassblowers even use compressed air to fill out a complex mold.

Do you shut the furnace off at night?

No, the furnace must remain on continually. It is filled with hundreds of pounds of glass, too much to heat up each day. It is also harmful for the refractory bricks to be repeatedly heated and cooled.

How can you use colored glass to decorate clear glass?

The Hot Glass Show gaffers use colored glass in two forms: bar and frit. Color bars can be used to achieve solid colors, while frit (crushed up colored glass) is used for different mottled looks.

How do you get the excess glass off the pipe once it cools?

The glass left over on the blowpipe will crack away in time. This is a result of the way the glass contracts as it cools.

How does a glass maker know how long to heat the glass?

Many factors tell the glass maker how long to heat the glass. Glassblowers can see and feel the glass move on the end of the pipe. They watch the color of the glass and develop a sense of timing with practice.

How does the bubble appear without blowing?

Glass makers often start the glass blowing process by the blow and cap method, wherein pressurized air is trapped in the pipe by the thumb. This air forms a bubble in the glass after a short delay. The delay is caused by a temperature differential in the glass. Near the pipe, the glass is cooled by the pipe head which is 1,000 degrees cooler than the glass. Some say the bubble is formed simply from the pressure of the initial breath, some say that air trapped in the blowpipe is heated by the hot glass and expands, forming the bubble. As gasses heat, they expand in accordance with Charles Law.

How is a reduction flame made?

Gaffers activate a small solenoid valve with a foot pedal, which introduces additional gas into the furnace’s flame.

How is colored glass made?

Glass is colored by adding different metallic compounds to the batch (iron is added for green, cobalt is added to create cobalt blue, etc.).

How long does it take to melt the batch?

About 50 lbs of glass are melted for the Hot Glass Show every day, which takes about eight hours to melt down and refine.

How often do the glass makers get burned?

For professional glass makers it is uncommon to be burned in the studio. Burns that do happen, most often occur by touching hot metal and not glass. There are many hot surfaces and tools of which glass makers must constantly be aware.

In what temperature range do gaffers work glass?

The glass used in the Hot Glass Show begins to soften around 1200º F or 650º C. Shaping on the pipe occurs in the 1500° to 2100º F range, 800°1150º C.

What are the molds made of?

Molds for glassblowing can be made of many materials. Early Roman ceramic and bronze molds for glass have been found. Today, most optic or pattern molds are made of bronze and aluminum, and most blow molds are made of wood or cast iron coated with cork.

What is the marver made of?

Marvers at the Museum are made of stainless steel. Marvers on the ship are made of bronze to protect against the corrosive sea air.

What fuels the furnace?

Natural gas. The Museum also has a furnace fueled with propane, and one that is electrically powered.

What happens if you inhale on the blowpipe while you have hot glass at the end?

The glass maker is not able to draw enough air out of the pipe to accidentally inhale hot air. Some glass makers purposely collapse a bubble by inhaling to achieve certain designs.

What is the glass used in the Hot Glass Show made of?

The Hot Glass Show gaffers use a soda-lime glass, which has a basic composition of silica sand (70%), soda ash (20%), and limestone (10%). This mixture is called a batch.

What kind of safety gear does the Hot Glass Show staff wear?

Glass blowers must wear safety glasses to protect against flying glass and harmful UV and IR radiation. It is also common for glass makers to wear natural fibers and not synthetics, which melt when hot. Glass makers sometimes wear gloves, but typically do not in order to retain dexterity and grip.

What kinds of different molds are there?

Optic molds are used to give a bubble a pattern, which can be further inflated and formed out of the mold. Blow molds can be used to give an object its final form. Blow molds can be seamed for irregular shapes or turn molds for symmetrical forms with no seams.

What kinds of wood are the blocks made of and why?

Glass shaping blocks are made of fruit woods: apple, cherry, and pear. These woods a have a dense and even grain, absorb water, and burn out evenly. For the first 10 to 15 seconds that a glass maker uses the wood block, the glass rides on a layer of steam rather than burning the wood away.

What makes glass iridize?

Ancient glass that has been buried over centuries often develops an iridescent surface. This is due to the interaction of elements in the base glass with the soil in which it was buried. Today, iridized surfaces can be produced using two methods: fuming and reducing. In fuming, the still hot glass is sprayed with metallic salts such as stannous chloride. In reducing, reactive glasses are applied to the surface of a piece, and the glass is then exposed to a reduction flame (gas ruch) in the furnace.

Which metals make which colors?

There are hundreds of metallic compounds and combinations of compounds that make color in glass, but here are some of the most common: cobalt = blue, iron = green, copper = turquoise blue or ruby red, manganese = amethyst, gold = ruby or purple, cadmium = red, selenium = yellow, tin + antimony = white.

Why are the pipes in the flame?

Glass will not stick to a cold blowpipe. The tips have to be heated to assure a proper, even start of the bubble.

Why doesn’t the glass crack when shaped with a wet tool?

The water vaporizes too quickly at the interface with the glass. Molten glass will crack on the surface when submerged in water, but not when using the block.

Why don’t the blocks steam when they touch the hot glass?

The steam is under the glass, when the block is lifted away, you can see the steam.

Why don’t the blowpipes get hot where the glass makers hands are?

Our blowpipes don’t get hot for a number of reasons. Mostly, the pipes are only briefly exposed to heat themselves when gathering. When re-heating, the glass is heated and not the pipe. Glass is an excellent insulator, and does not conduct heat into the pipe. Today, our pipes are made of stainless steel which also helps, since stainless is a poor conductor of heat. In addition, pipes are long enough that the glassmaker can always hold the pipe safely.

Why is it called a glory hole?

While there is no concrete answer, there are several plausible origins of this term. In an old factory, where smoke and dust were everywhere, a 2100° opening would have created an illusion not unlike that seen in paintings of saints and angles where The Glory radiated from their heads. A break in the clouds where sunlight passes through is also called a glory hole. However, the term has more recently fallen out of use and the term Reheating Furnace is more widely used.

Why is the table called a marver?

Most believe that the word marver is derived from the French word for marble marbre. Traditionally, a stone surface would have been used to roll and shape the glass. Today, marvers are made of stainless steel because it is a poor conductor of heat.

Why must glass be cooled slowly?

When glass is cooled too quickly below 950º F tremendous strain is created. Like many materials, glass expands as it heats and shrinks as it cools. When glass is allowed to cool quickly it cools unevenly, which in turn creates strain (not stress). Slow cooling forces the entire object to cool evenly, minimizing strain.

Where do you get your material?

Spectrum Glass     Uroboros Glass     East Bay Batch & Color     Olympic Color Rod     Delphi Glass     Bullseye Glass     Skutt Kilns     D & L Art Glass     Oceanside Glass Tile