Monday, October 10, 2016

How it’s Made: Autumn Glass Leaves

Autumn Glass Leaves- Amber & Orange Set | Autumn Glass Leaves- Blue & Yellow Set
 In the heart of Pittsburgh resides a private glass blowing studio where unique and colorful glass leaves are produced daily. After making glass pumpkins for the past 10 years, it was time to create something else representative of fall and as a compliment to the pumpkins. Starting out with four or five simple colors, these Pennsylvanian glass blowers have expanded their color line to ones you see today in our Museum Shop. Find out how these remarkable glass leaves are made.

They first start by pulling, or gathering, a clear mass of glass from the main glass furnace.  It is basically a huge crucible full of molten, clear glass held at 2100 degrees inside a giant insulated kiln. From there, they add chipped up bits of colored glass and melt them in. 

Once the color is all worked in, they flatted, or smash, the mass and use special glass shears to cut all of the leaf petals. 

Finally, they pull the glass off of the pipe to create the stem, and it goes directly into a different hot kiln where it sits overnight to cool, or as they say, anneal.  After 16 hours, they are at room temperature and ready to ship!

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