Glassblowing?

POSTED: Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:00 am

I've only just started researching this really, but an idea sprouted to have a character who can blow glass (on a very small scale). Has this been done before?

Things I've considered:
1 - they'd need a wagon or something to lug all their stuff around in, probably..
2 - making glass from raw materials or melting it at all would need a hellofalot of heat, not sure how that would be achieved (I know they used to use bellows and a furnace but idk where a furnace would come from xD)
3 - finding raw materials, if it IS possible.. I know they could find sand, but lime/soda?

Or would it just be totally unrealistic and they should just trade what's already made and out there (if there's much glass out there?! I imagine it'd have a pretty high price)? No worries if it wouldn't work at all, I can think of something else, just wondered how realistic it is :3

Thanks!
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POSTED: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:54 am

I'm sure you've come across some of this info in your research, but just to add in to help your case because I think this is a really cool idea...

Glass blowing has been around for a really, really long time (we're talking before the Middle Ages) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glassblowing#History and it seems like molds were used fairly often, which may help. More history: http://www.seattleglassblowing.com/glass_history.html

This page has images of an early furnace: http://www.romanglassmakers.co.uk/furnace51.htm

Tank furnace construction: http://www.romanglassmakers.co.uk/furnace5.htm

Edit: this page has links to a bunch more info/pictures: http://www.romanglassmakers.co.uk/furnace1.htm
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POSTED: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:24 am

POSTED: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:56 am

Thank you! <3 That's interesting. Sounds like the main obstacles would be the furnace and finding materials?
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POSTED: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:23 am

Yeah, the need for high heat had me unable to figure out just what to do to achieve it... But yeah, know they had made glass in the ancient times but I had trouble licating exactly how they achieved it and where they got the raw materials. But yeah, I've been interested it since I liked watching it be done in Colonial Williamsburg

POSTED: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:27 am

One source I read said they used bellows for the heat but I'd need to follow that up.
I remember seeing it done in France and thinking it was pretty cool. Don't want to pinch an idea though, it just seemed to fit well with this half-baked character :3
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POSTED: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:35 am

Yeah, just the maintaining, what was it?, 2000+ F heat that had me stumped. But if you can figure it out then go for it. No idea is truly original anymore. Heck, I wouldn't mind if you would want to work together with it later on. I could eventually bring in an apprentice type character later if you want to do that

POSTED: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:13 pm

A character in Anathema used to blow glass.
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POSTED: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:24 pm

A response I wrote to a PM on the subject a while back:

The biggest obstacle for glassblowing is the heat involved. We've discussed and approved rudimentary mud and earthen ovens before, but glassblowing requires proper furnaces and glass needs to be heated to 2,400 °F (1,320 °C), which is extreeeemely dangerous if that fire isn't properly contained. There are a lot of ways it could go wrong, so I think it'd be a pretty rare skill, though not an impossible one. It does also mean that it's probably unlikely that a glassblowing Luperci would be much of a traveler -- having to create a new furnace at every new location would be extremely cumbersome and dangerous, because one gets accustomed to a particular furnace and how it heats up/behaves, etc.


I actually have a Groupon from a while back for a one-time glassblowing class I need to redeem soon. While I'm there I'll be sure to bombard the poor teacher with lots of odd questions about glassblowing in a post-apocalyptic world, hahaha....
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POSTED: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:55 pm

Dude, Kiri I would love to hear the answers to those questions. Lemme know what is said?

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