- by Frank Kulasiewicz
As a sometime glass blower, I love this book!! It
the first modern book on glass blowing that actually shows you how to
As it says on the cover, this book is about:
and using furnaces, ovens, and tools - Making, melting, gathering,
blowing, and annealing glass - Forming handles and stems, decorating,
"The book... begins with directions for building a
simple, economical furnace and annealing oven, and for setting up a
complete studio. A chapter on tools shows how to make and use all the
items necessary for forming glass. Then the reader is given detailed
instructions for firing the furnace, melting the glass, and using the
... the reader is introduced to the various kinds
glass, and the chemistry and uses of each type. Then, step-by-step, the
author discusses the techniques of making glass from scratch -
materials, recipes, and how to arrive at your own formulas.
Clear, easy-to-follow, illustrated demonstrations
present the methods for gathering and blowing glass, adding handles and
stems, and surface decoration. ...molten glass decoration,
incorporating bubbles, metallic coatings, cut and engraved glass,
flocking and sandblasting, using iridescent colors, stains, lusters,
and coloring oxides... A thorough appendix includes reference tables
and glass recipes, as well as a glossary, bibliography, and suppliers
by Ed Schmid
This is flat-out the BEST book currently available
learning how to blow glass. Ed has been working with and teaching
others how to work with hot glass for years. His hand-drawn pages and
step-by-step instructions will have you blowing beautiful glass objects
in no time. Buy it. Read it. Do it!
Big Handbook of Glassblowing
This is the first edition of the book listed
become quite a valuable collector's item, and is rarely seen offered
for sale. When you find one, be prepared to pay dearly, and to act
fast. They're in demand.
- by Ed Schmid
This is Ed's followup text for those who've
basics. Loaded with information and just about double the size of his
beginners' book (for just a little bit more money). Did I mention that
Ed does all of the
hand-lettered text and illustrations himself?
a Search for Form -
by Harvey Littleton
"Harvey Littleton instituted the first course in
glassblowing in an American university. In this book he presents his
thoroughly individual approach to glass as an art form... based on a
lifetime studying and working with glass.
Professor Littleton discusses the historical
of glass, the nature and composition of glass, the tools needed for
glassblowing, and... how to set up a studio.
He covers the techniques of glassblowing in
detail. Also included is advice on safety measures in the laboratory.
In a brief and fascinating diary, Professor
recounts his work with Erwin Eisch, the Bavarian glass artist. Here he
virtually draws the reader into the laboratory to watch master
craftsmen at work, and the formulas used by them are given in chart
form. The glass of Tiffany, Lalique, and Gallé, as well as
of Professor Littleton and other contemporary artists illustrate the
beauty of fine glass, and glassworking procedures are demonstrated in
numerous step-by-step photographs.
by Ray Flavell and Claude Smale
"Flavell and Smale show how simple it is to set up
studio workshop for glassmaking. They discuss the physical nature of
glass..., the historical development of glassmaking, and then describe
the various techniques and equipment that can be used. Each topic is
accompanied by clear line drawings and photographs."
- What is Glass? - the
physical properties of glass, with information on the raw materials
used in various types of glass.
- Glass and Colour - addition
of various metallic oxides to the glass batch to produce different
- Historical Techniques - from
ancient Egypt to Rome; from Venice to Bohemia and England.
- The Glassblowing Process -
techniques including gathering, reheating, marvering, blowing, necking,
blocking, puntying, annealing, and common faults. More advanced
techniques include: forming a bowl or platter, making a simple foot,
stemmed pieces, making a handle, lids and knobs, composite forms, rods
and tubes, trapping air bubbles for decorative effects, molding methods
using wooden and metal molds... Lots of easy-to-understand diagrams and
- Decoration - Hot methods:
prunts, embossing, coloured canes, casing, making the glass iridescent,
enamels. Cold methods: cutting, wheel and diamond engraving, etching,
- Glassworking without a
Furnace - Kiln-firing, lampworking.
- Setting up a Workshop - The
tools, marver, glory-hole, grinder, construction of a furnace (very
basic, but highly usable!!)
- Craftsmen and Design
- by Fritz Dreisbach
I've never seen a copy of this book, but knowing
it's probably pretty useful; and most likely pretty entertaining as
well. Keep looking back on Amazon to find a copy, but know that I'm
trying to get one too.
Art of Glass Making -
by Sidney Waugh
Written in the late 1930s by longtime
designer Sidney Waugh, this book gives a good historic overview of the
glassblowing process. Illustrated throughout with black and white
photos of Steuben craftsmen at work.
Glassblower's Companion: A Compilation of Studio Equipment Designs,
Essays, & Glassblowing Ideas - by Dudley F.
Fritz Dreisbach (Editor), Linda Burdick (Editor)
Here's a review from Mike Firth, Hot
Glass Bits furnace glassblowing newsletter:
"Having gotten my copy, I am impressed by the
book is primarily an equipment book with excursions into the history of
working glass and how it might have been done down through the
centuries. If I had to position it with respect to Henry Halem's book, Glass
I would say that while Henry has a bias toward big expensive equipment
and offers a lot of casting information, Dudley has a bias toward
buildable equipment and offers many hints on bead making. For a person
starting to build equipment, I would say that Dudley's book is more
useful. The content of the book includes 5 glory holes, 10 glass
melting furnaces, 5 annealers and 5 accessories involving heating. Each
of the first three groups includes items that are more useful for
theory, philosophy or history than for construction. There are a lot of
well done computer assisted drawings.
Dudley offers a lot of detail and specifics on gas
burner systems, given prices and part numbers, as would seem likely for
a person who sells burner heads. There are many strong opinions and
references, charts and formulas to serve as a starting point for many
tasks. Information ranges from cutting a mold to using 3 phase power.
It is obvious the man has built a lot of equipment and learned from
failures and half-successes.
This book has leaped onto my list of must own
furnace workers. Henry talks more about coloring and using glass, but
for exposure to the range of work involved in furnace glass working, I
will recommend one of Ed Schmid's books and this one. 12/27/98"
Hot Glass Information Exchange
- by John M. Bingham
This large paperback book includes 23 articles by
various authors on melting and blowing glass. It's a bit older (1979),
and Giberson's and Halem's books have more up-to-date information, but
this one is still useful if you're building your own hot shop.
Burners for Forges, Furnaces, and Kilns - by Michael
"Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, &
Kilns" is a do-it-yourselfers dream book, showing beginners how to make
highly efficient gas burners inexpensively. These burners use simple
gas accelerators as their central operating principle. All that is
needed is a $2 MIG tip and some plumbing parts. This eliminates the
need for a blower to supply combustion air, allowing the burners to be
built in any size.
Burners are featured which are small enough to be
used for a jewelry torch, or large enough to heat any ceramic kiln.
Because these burners are both powerful and portable, they can be
combined with low cost space age insulating materials and common
containers to build light compact heating equipment.
Also described is a blacksmith's forge that can be
carried anywhere and stored under a workbench; a portable metal melting
furnace; a portable farrier's forge; a portable glass furnace/glory
hole; and a mobile hot-work station that aids in combining several
crafts... General information and specific designs are given, enabling
the craftsperson to build equipment tailored to their own desires." -
from the amazon.com website
OF FREDERICK CARDER - by Paul V. Gardner
Find more details on this one in our Glass
Studios, and companies section. We've added it here because we think
it's a terrific resource for glassblowers. Its appendix includes over
7,000 line drawings of glass pieces made by Carder and his Steuben
Glassworks. Tired of making the same old vessels? Look here for