National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK

Glass blowing for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge

We were delighted to be chosen by Cee as featured bloggers for our black and white challenge entry last week and when I saw Cee’s theme for her Black and White Photo Challenge this week was ‘glass’, I immediately remembered this very interesting visit we made to the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

The city of Sunderland in north east England has a proud heritage of glassmaking. The National Glass Centre stands on the banks of the River Wear at Monkwearmouth. On our visit to the National Glass Centre we were able to watch a demonstration of glass blowing.

Hand blown glass at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK
Examples of handblown glass
National Glass Centre, Sunderland - glass blowing
Glass blower at the National Glass Centre
National Glass Centre, Sunderland - the glass blower
Hand blowing the glass

The molten glass is held on the end of a metal rod and then skilfully the glass blower blows through the metal rod to inflate the glass globe. The glass globe is reheated and gradually shaped into its final form – in this case a vase. The glass vase being blown has a swirling pattern within it.

The glass blower at work
The glass blower at work

Do take a look at what others have chosen on the glass theme for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge.

J Peggy Taylor

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14 thoughts on “Glass blowing for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge

    1. It certainly looks very skillful – heating and keeping the molten glass at the correct temperature for different parts of the moulding process, then there’s the actual blowing into the glass part, which I imagine is quite an art in itself. It gets very hot in the glass studio, so I think glass blowers would have to not mind working in a hot atmosphere! But it really is fascinating to watch 🙂

      1. I’ve seen someone blow glass too. So impressive! Takes a lot of skill and experience. I really hope those kind of professions stay in business. Not everything has to be mass produced by robots, imho.

      2. Oh yes, I too hope we continue to see this skill being practised and taught for future generations. The National Glass Centre that we visited is part of the University of Sunderland’s art and design department so I imagine they do teach the skill to some of their students. I agree, handmade still has an important place in production methods.

  1. Awesome! I remember watching glass bangle making in television… But, never thought glass-wares are made like this! Thanks for sharing these pictures with us Peggy 🙂 TC! Keep smiling 🙂

    1. Isn’t glass-making amazing! This is the old craft method of blowing the glass to form the shapes rather than the glass being formed in a mould. It was very interesting to watch the whole process at the glass studio. Glad you enjoyed the pictures, Sindhu 🙂

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