Blowing shards

I’ve been experimenting with blowing glass shards.  Basically you get a hollow stainless steel mandrel (or blowpipe) and build a layer of glass on the end of it and then blow through the pipe to expand the glass until you have a very thin bubble of glass. As with anything, there’s a few different techniques to blow a glass shard and it does take some practice.  I built up layers of glass on the end of the mandrel, making sure that there are no holes in the glass otherwise the technique won’t work.  Also, you attach the glass directly onto the mandrel, no need for bead release.

The aim is to get a hollow ball of glass on the end of the mandrel and have to keep everything warm.  Melt everything smooth and blow into the pipe in small puffs to keep the shape and keep turning the mandrel so the glass doesn’t droop,  Once the glass is molten, it’s time to blow your big bubble.  However if you blow too hard the bubble might burst ruining your work.  So you have to blow slowly and the walls are thin.  Once done, put the glass into a container and break into shards.

 

There are endless colour combinations of glass that you can use to blow shards. I’ve got two examples of shards pictured here.

The beads below all have my shards on them giving a variety of different effects.  I’m very happy with the results.

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