Saturday, May 13, 2006

Glass Factory

In Romania we have noticed that there aren't many "safety" factors. Big holes in the middle of the road are left open for days with a few long sticks in them for warning. Road construction happens without any form of signing pattern. It seems very unsafe... until your seven year old gets to stand within two feet of a glass blowing operation and can literally feel the heat from the open fire on her face! No worries, no age restriction, no OSHA - just us and the artists watching the glass take shape. Coolest field trip ever!

This morning we went about an hour out into the country and toured a glass factory call RomBlast. You can see their website at We watched them form several pieces then got to wander through the warehouse and buy items directly from the factory.

They start with a lump of glass about the size of a Christmas ornament. Then it is attached to a long metal pole. The glass is heated until it literally melts. The worker then lets it hang and gravity pulls is out long or to expand the cylinder he will blow into the end of the pole.

Then they shape it into the item desired. This lady is forming the hot glass into a three sided vase with a curve. Once the glass cools a little it holds the shape.

This box was used to form the base of this piece into a square. Then they switched the holding end and worked on the top or lip of the vase. The top was flattened out with a dry board and it would catch on fire from the heat of the glass.

It was amazing to see them working so quickly and to watch this glass take shape in their hands. We bought several pieces and plan to go back again before Christmas since not everything was available today.