“The hot glass is like treacle—one false move and you have to start over.” This artisan in Mexico, however, makes the crafting look easy. Watch as he creates a confetti-style hand-blown glass pitcher from recycled bits of colorful glass melted into a hot glass glob.
The long steel blowpipe allows the glassmaker to shape the inside of the pitcher with blown air. The outside is formed in a mold and then quickly shaped with handheld tools while it’s still hot.
“Even though the art of blowing glass originally came to Mexico from Spain, and it is practiced all over the world, Mexico’s blown glass artistry is unique,” says [business owner Javier Gutiérrez] enthusiastically…
When the piece is ready, they cut it off the pipe leaving a pontil on the bottom indicating the piece is mouth blown. It is placed in a tempering kiln for several hours and then left to cool.
Given the handcrafted nature of the process, there will never be two completely identical pieces. Air bubbles are often present as a result of this technique, adding to the admirable uniqueness of this legendary art form.
This video is from National Geographic’s Novica, a fair-trade marketplace that has featured “limited edition and one-of-a-kind handmade works of art” since it launched in 1999. The Javier and Efren fiesta color pitcher is available on their site.
Watch these glass videos next on TKSST:
• 3D printing with 1900F molten glass – G3DP at MIT
• Marbles – The Magic of Making
• Remaking an ancient glass fish
• A horse sculpted from hot molten glass
• Glas, Bert Haanstra‘s Oscar-winning documentary short film (1959)
Bonus: Abdón Punzo Ángel’s artisanal coppersmithing from scraps.
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