5 Tips: Improve Glassblowing Skills & Create Vases
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Practice Safety First
  2. Improve Your Blows
  3. Learn to Control the Temperature
  4. Perfect Your Timing
  5. Experiment with Shapes and Colors

Picture this: you're in your workshop, the furnace is roaring, and you're ready to create your masterpiece—a stunning glass vase. Yet, something's not quite right. The shape isn't forming as you envisioned, and the colors aren't blending well. Sound familiar? Don't worry. We've all been there. Getting better at glassblowing for vases is a journey, one filled with patience, practice, and a touch of creativity. This blog shares five practical tips that will help you improve your glassblowing skills and create mesmerizing vases. You'll be a maestro in no time!

Practice Safety First

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of getting better at glassblowing for vases, let's talk about safety. Glassblowing involves working with high temperatures and delicate materials, so your safety is a top priority. Below are a few critical safety measures you should always consider:

1. Use the Right Gear

When it comes to glassblowing, your attire matters a great deal. Opt for natural fiber clothing like cotton, which is less likely to catch fire than synthetic materials. Make sure to wear closed-toe shoes for toe protection, and always have your heat-resistant gloves on. And remember, safety goggles are a must—they protect your eyes from any flying glass shards.

2. Maintain Your Workspace

A clean and organized workspace is key to safe glassblowing. Keep your tools in their designated places, and make sure your working area is free of any tripping hazards. Regularly clean your furnace and annealer to prevent any buildup that could cause a fire.

3. Stay Hydrated

Working around a furnace can cause you to sweat more than usual. This can lead to dehydration if you're not careful. Keep a water bottle handy and make sure you take regular sips to stay hydrated. However, do ensure that your water source is away from the working area to prevent any accidents.

By keeping these safety tips in mind, you're setting the stage for success in your journey of getting better at glassblowing for vases. Remember, a safe artist is a successful artist!

Improve Your Blows

Now that we've covered safety, let's dive into the art itself. One of the key parts of getting better at glassblowing for vases is mastering the art of blowing. It's all about control and understanding how your breath interacts with the molten glass. Let's explore some ways to enhance your blowing technique:

1. Start Small

It can be tempting to go all out and blow as hard as you can, but the key is to start small. Think of it like inflating a balloon. You wouldn't blow as hard as possible right away, would you? The same principle applies to glassblowing. Start with gentle, controlled blows and gradually increase the intensity as the glass expands.

2. Listen to the Glass

Sounds strange, doesn't it? But the glass speaks to you in its own way. Pay attention to the resistance you feel when you blow. If it's too hard, you might need to heat the glass a little more. If it's too easy, maybe it's time to shape the glass before it gets too thin. Learning to understand these subtle cues is a crucial step in getting better at glassblowing for vases.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

There's no shortcut here. Improving your blows takes practice. Dedicate time each day to blowing, even if you don't end up with a product. The goal is to get comfortable with the process and develop a feel for the glass. Don't worry about the end result. Focus on the journey, and you'll see improvement over time.

Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a glassblowing maestro. Be patient with yourself, enjoy the process, and soon enough, you'll see the fruits of your labor.

Learn to Control the Temperature

Let's turn up the heat—figuratively and literally! Temperature control is the backbone of improving your glassblowing skills, especially for vases. Why? Because temperature determines how malleable the glass is. Let's break it down into manageable steps:

1. Recognize the Color Cues

Did you know that you can gauge the temperature of the glass just by looking at it? As the temperature rises, the glass goes from a dull red to bright orange, then yellow, and finally, white-hot. These color cues can guide you in adjusting the furnace temperature. The goal? A glowing orange that's perfect for getting better at glassblowing for vases.

2. Keep a Steady Flame

Controlling the temperature isn't just about the furnace. The flame you use to shape the glass also plays a part. A steady, consistent flame can help maintain the glass's temperature and prevent it from cooling too quickly. Remember, consistency is key!

3. Timing is Everything

When it comes to temperature control, timing is everything. Taking the glass out of the furnace too soon or too late can affect its malleability. Keep a close eye on the clock, and you'll soon get a feel for the perfect timing.

Mastering temperature control can feel like a high-wire act at first, but don't let it intimidate you. With practice and a keen eye for detail, you'll soon be crafting vases that are as cool as they are hot!

Perfect Your Timing

Timing in glassblowing? Yes, it's a thing — and it's a big thing! It's the difference between a vase that's worthy of a spot on your mantle and one that's...well, better off hidden in the cupboard. So, let's dive into how to get the timing just right for getting better at glassblowing for vases.

1. Plan Your Design

Having a clear design in mind before you start working with the glass can help you pace yourself. Know the steps you need to take and in what order. This way, you can ensure that you're not rushing through important details or dragging out steps that should be swift.

2. Watch the Glass

Your glass will give you hints about when it's time to move to the next step. Is it starting to lose its glow? Then it's probably time to reheat it. Is it starting to sag? You might need to give it a quick blow. Learning to read these signs will improve your timing greatly.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

As with any skill, the more you do it, the better you get. So, grab your blowpipe and get to work! The more vases you create, the more natural the timing will feel.

Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is the skill of perfect timing in glassblowing. Be patient with yourself and keep practicing. You'll be amazed at how this seemingly small aspect can elevate your glassblowing skills.

Experiment with Shapes and Colors

Ever looked at a vase and thought, 'Wow, how did they do that?' The answer lies in experimenting with diverse shapes and colors. Let's look at some ways you can get creative and start getting better at glassblowing for vases.

1. Shapes: Don't be Afraid to Think Outside the Box

The beauty of glassblowing is that you're not limited by conventions. Want to create a vase that's more square than round? Go for it! Try different shapes until you find the one that showcases your unique style. Remember, it's your creation. Let it speak for you!

2. Colors: The Sky's the Limit

When it comes to colors in glassblowing, there are no rules. Bright, bold colors can make your vase stand out, while soft, pastel shades can give it a delicate, elegant look. Try different color combinations and see what works best for you.

3. Mix and Match

Now comes the fun part: mixing and matching shapes and colors. Try a round vase with a vibrant red color, or a square one with a cool blue shade. The possibilities are endless, and each experiment brings you one step closer to mastering the art of glassblowing for vases.

Remember, perfection is not the goal here. The goal is to learn and grow, and to enjoy the process along the way. So, don't be afraid to make mistakes — they're just stepping stones on the path to getting better at glassblowing for vases.

If you enjoyed learning about glassblowing techniques and want to explore more creative art forms, check out Meghan Yarnell's workshop 'Pottery Basics: Everything You Need To Know'. While pottery may be a different medium, many of the skills you've learned in glassblowing can be applied to pottery, helping you expand your artistic abilities and create beautiful vases and other functional art pieces.