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724 TECHNIQUE Mouthblown glass

The technique of mouth-blowing glass is used to control the shape of glass – made from silica (sand) and alkaline materials, which are heated to a liquid then quickly cooled – producing beautiful irregularities that make each piece unique.

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TECHNIQUE Mouth-blown glass

moutblown-glass
Photo: Alamy

Glassmaking was first discovered by chance around 4,000 years ago, when sand was mixed with wood ash, perhaps while potters heated clay at high temperatures. In 50 BCE, Mediterranean people discovered mouth-blowing, the fastest way to make glass in different shapes and sizes. They rolled the end of a pipe in molten glass, and then blew into the pipe to form a bubble. From there, tools could mould and add texture to the glass.

New techniques have been introduced, but mouth-blowing has not changed much. The technique of mouth-blowning glass is used to control the shape of glass – made from silica (sand) and alkaline materials, which are heated to a liquid then quickly cooled – producing beautiful irregularities that make each piece unique.