Blowing big „Pumpking“ vases

December 2018
Backhaus&Brown, Hundested, Denmark

Decemberwas a busy month working on several different projects: Viking ships, vineglasses, special commissions, different types of color orders and a lot ofdrinking glasses. In the pictures we are making the pumpkin vases. Last orderbefore Christmas. This work involves three of us: Nanna Backhaus, RasmusLeseberg and myself.

Thepumpking vases are made with the following steps: Me and Rasmus starts togather a little bit of clear glass on the pipes, after that the glass coolesdown on the pipes. Nanna cuts a color bit on top of it. When they are coolenough the whole pipe goes in the garage, a place that keeps the temperaturearound 530°C.

Thepumpkin vases as so many other glassblowing processes requires teamwork. FirstI start heating the color on the pipe, shaping it when hot and blow a littleair bubble in it. When this is done and the post is cold enough I gather a newtransparent layer of glass on top and shape that layer with a wodden block.Then I put the pipe in the glass furnace again and heat the whole glass inorder to blow the bubble in it bigger. Then I wait until the glass cools downagain and then make the last gather on it. Shape the glass again with thewodden block and the newspaper. Heat it strongly again in the furnace, and blowit a little more, shaping it pointed straight afterwars. After another heatwhen the glass is hot enough (but not too hot) I will push and blow the glassin an aluminium mold in order to get striped optic in the glass. This stripesappears because, the glass gets pushed in the points and now there is adifferent thickness in the sides. After this I marver the glass and heat it inthe heating chamber so it can be blown up more after shaped with the woodenblock again and the jackline can be made. In order to detatch the glass fromits glass pipe we need a jackline. The jackline is made by an iron tool withtwo blades that narrows the sides until a point that it can be detached withoutbreaking the rest of the shape .In this process i keep heating the piece, Nannashapes it and Rasmus blows in the pipe.

Afterthe shape is given and the jackline is made the vase needs to be attached toanother iron, called the punty. Now it can be transferred from the glass pipeto the punty in order to be finished. Here Nanna keeps working on opening thevase with the jacks and Rasmus shields her with woodden paddels from theemitted heat, keeping the opening straight with a wodden stick and assistingNanna opening the doors of the heating chamber. During this process Nanna alsouses a soffietta - an iron tube with an edge at the end - to blow in theopening. The air goes in the piece and because of the blown pressure and theexpansion of the air when hot the piece is inflating and changing the shape asneeded.
Meanwhile Nanna is finishing the pumpkin vase and I start heating the color ona new pipe in order to make a new piece.

Itwas a pleasure to have Rasmus here in November and December as Assistant andco-worker. Thanks for that and for some of the working pictures.

HappyChristmas, festivities and good New Year to you.

Allthe best:


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