the artist and her craft
The thoughts of a glassblower
I wear many hats, but glassblower has been a long running favourite.
I wear many hats, but glassblower has been a long running favourite. My love for glassblowing continues to grow every day. I love the excitement of seeing an object take shape, the intensity of the fire, the rich history of the craft and the beauty found within its raw materials. It's a medium I am truly passionate about and I'm so proud to share it with others.
Before going solo, I had worked in a few glassblowing studios—a gamut of experience that allowed me to hone my craft. With over ten years of experience, I now operate my own small business, Tara Blown Glass. I offer a selection of home decor, cremation memorial keepsake and when time and creativity permits – monster sculptures!
my favourite things
My family—a supportive partner, two incredible boys and a loving dog
Good food that tastes great and nourishes the body
A lighthearted attitude, a positive outlook and a sense of humour
Colour! The whole rainbow–all the time!
Tools of the trade
Left pretty much unchanged since first century, glassblowing tools are simple and few. These include a blowpipe, punty, bench, marver, blocks, jacks, paddles, tweezers and a variety of shears. However, there are a few intangible and essential pieces – gravity, centrifugal force, and well-developed lung-power!
Tara begins each piece by inserting a preheated blowpipe into the furnace to gather clear molten glass. The glass is rolled on a steel table called a marver to form a cylindrical shape. Colored glass powders or pieces are picked up and combined in a similar manner.
Keeping the glass in constant motion, one hand turns the pipe while the other shapes it using a wooden block, newspaper or tweezers. The glass cools throughout the process becoming unworkable and is reheated using a blow torch or more commonly in large furnace, called the glory hole, to keep it above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
After the final shape is formed, the piece is placed in a temperature-controlled kiln to slowly cool revealing it's final colour.