Hot Glass

Burning hot glass, glassblowing

Glassblowing was invented at the first century B.C. in the region of Syria and Palestine (in the same region that the glass was invented).
In order to create different utensils (jugs, bowls) by glassblowing a metal pipe 1.2 meters long was used.
The glassblower collects with the end of the metal pipe molten glass and rolls it on a flat and metallic surface in order to cool it a little and also in order to design the external part of the utensil. Then the glassblower blows on the other side of the pipe and inflates the glass into a bubble by warming it up against the open oven. Thus he designs the utensil's internal part, its shape and thickness.
In simple metal utensils the glassblower decorates the utensil, adds handles, legs, applications. One can add color by dumping the utensil in color melted glass with different color.
At the end of the process, the utensil is attached to a pontil-rod. It is detached from the pipe and its rims are designed.
Many utensils from that period carry a small "scar" on the bottom, called "pontil mark".
Then the utensil is placed at the front of the oven to slowly cool down.

Some more information about glassblowing can be found in the following links:
http://www.umich.edu/~kelseydb/Exhibits/WondrousGlass/RomanGlass-Making.html#Background
http://www.matar.ac.il/eureka/newspaper18/glass.asp
http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/g/glass.asp
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761554489_3/Glass.html
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761554489_5/Glass.html

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