5 Easy & Simple Glassbowing Projects Ideas For Beginners 2021 (With Videos)
Glassblowing and lampworking are intricate artforms that require practice and patience. One of the best ways to become comfortable with these crafts and their many techniques is to make many small, simple items.
Most beginners learn glassworking in studio classes or apprenticeships, but experimenting at home (if you have the space and equipment!) can help you accelerate your learning and stand out amongst fellow artisans.
This article includes five beginner-friendly projects that are practical, beautiful, and easy to complete with basic glassblowing and lampworking tools and techniques. Each project can also be made for resale or gifting.
What Tools Do I Need for These Projects?
To make the following beginner glassblowing and lampworking projects, you will need basic tools and materials like a furnace or torch, blowpipe, blocks, jacks, shears, tweezers, papers, a punty rod, and an annealer.
This article includes two lampworking projects that require smaller quantities of glass than glassblowing projects. Glass rods and kolbens are two examples of glass that is appropriate for lampworking. Using proper safety equipment and techniques while working with molten glass is also essential.
Eyewear, sturdy shoes, and gloves will help protect you from burns. Beginners should ideally work with a partner or instructor when making some of the larger projects described in this article to ensure safety and proper completion of the projects
- Aero-Pro Optics Didymium Glasses - Leopard Red Frame. Glass Lenses, high impact plastic unisex...
- For soft glass torch applications. If you use boro glass, add our #3 green flip up for added...
- For reducing sodium flare and UV light from soft glass torch applications. Superior grade Didymium...
List of Easy & Simple Beginner Glass Blowing Projects [Updated]
1) Glass Ornament Globe
Using a torch and a kolben (which is a long tube with a bulb at the end), thoroughly heat the bulb until it is red-hot. Blow through the tube and allow it to cool. Then cut it off of the tube and attach a cap to finish your ornament.
This project is excellent for beginners because it only involves heating and blowing using one piece of glass. Kolbens can be purchased from many online glass retailers. The original video tutorial for this project can be found here.
2) Glass Paperweight
Heat your glass on a punty rod and swirl and cut it with shears. Gather more glass and use a block to shape it. Use jacks to create a neckline at the end of the glass. Detach the glass from the punty and your paperweight is complete!
This is a great project for practicing working with colored glass, so don’t be afraid to use a lot of color and swirl the glass around a lot in the beginning steps to create a beautiful finished piece. The original tutorial can be found here.
3) Glass Cup
Begin with a gather on the end of your blowpipe. Block it to cool the glass and create an even shape. Gather again and cool the pipe so you can continue working with this larger amount of hot glass.
Use the block again to prepare to make a bubble. Make the bubble, reheat, and then marver. Repeat these steps are needed. Create a jackline at the top of the work to create the top of the cup. Heat the bottom half of the cup and then hold it vertically to help it elongate. Paddle the bottom to make a flat surface for the cup to sit.
Apply a punty to the end of the cup and tap to release the cup onto the punty. Use jacks to open up the top of the cup and break the cup off of the punty to complete this project. The original tutorial has great visuals of the process and tips and tricks for beginners.
4) Glass Coil Pot
This project is a smaller scale lampworking project, so you will need glass tubing and a torch. Heat the end of the tubing and open it using jacks. Repeat gathering and flaring the glass to create a coiling in the tube. Marver the outside of the tube with a paddle to create an even shape.
Blow through the tube while the end is still in the torch and transfer to a punty. Shape and flare again to your desired shape. Repeat this entire process until your coil pot is as large as you want. Then tap it off and shape the opening of the pot with jacks. The original video with in-depth commentary can be found here.
5) Glass Vase
To begin, gather heated glass on the end of your blowpipe. Let this piece cool down to prepare for the next gather. While it cools, use a block to begin shaping the glass. Get another gather and cool the pipe to continue working.
Block the second gather as you did with the first. Blow in the pipe to create a bubble and then marver the bottom of the piece to start shaping the vase. Reheat, marver, and blow into the pipe repeatedly as needed. Create a jackline and use papers to cool the neck of the vase.
Use a wooden paddle to flatten the bottom of the piece. Reheat the vase and connect it to a punty. Use your jacks to tap the piece off the blowpipe and onto the punty. Heat the top of the vase and use your jacks again to flare the lip of the vase. Apply water to the punty and tap the vase off into an annealer and your vase is complete!
For a visual demonstration of these steps, check out the original video here.