Capturing your breath in a bauble
Blowing into red hot molten glass to make a beautiful bauble, was an attraction at the Bath Artisans Market at Queen Square, the last Saturday in November. The activity enabled a puff of your own breath to be captured and preserved inside the gleaming object.
This activity was put on by Bath Aqua Glass, who have shops at Cheap Street and Walcot Street, together with Salamander Glassblowing – a mobile hot glass studio that provides demonstrations and workshops.
Pictured below, Ben from Salamander Glass guides Kay to use the blow tube to create her own unique bauble. Kay had come from Hertfordshire to spend time in Bath with her daughter Karen for Christmas – and Karen had made it part of her bucket list to blow glass. Mother and daughter said that Bath had been really beautiful for their visit.
The process of making objects from glass is intriguing. The glass is heated in an oven at about 1,100 degrees Celsius, then the glass worker dips in the tube, a bit like extracting honey from a jar with a honey dipper. The piece is shaped and put into an annealing oven for it to cool gently without cracking. Powdered metals are used to create colours: cobalt for blue, iron oxide for green, gold for purple and copper for aqua.
The finished baubles aren't as delicate as they look. They have a pleasing weight in your palm and you can clink them together.