Experience Glassblowing for Yourself
During non-production hours, Tembo Glassworks offers its fully equipped glass blowing facility to individuals for glassblowing demonstrations or private/small group lessons. No previous glass blowing experience is required. Contact the studio owner, Dawn del Alamo, at 210.218.5827 to discuss your needs and schedule a session.
Pricing starts at $130 per hour per person for a simple beginner lesson and increases depending on professional glass blower involvement in the artistic output. For example, participants can be involved in the color application at the beginning stages of a complex piece but request that the professional glass blower complete the final form.
There is a two-hour minimum for any lesson or experience. Included in our pricing is safety equipment, studio tour, short demo, snacks, two experienced glassblowers and student created glass pieces.
Folks can count on Tembo to be honest and enthusiastic and we provide a laid-back, friendly atmosphere. Our primary focus is personalizing each experience based on the needs of our clients. We want to take the mystery out of this craft and pride ourselves on our awesome guest snacks like coconut water, mandarin oranges and gourmet almonds. Yes, we can be fancy.
Learning to "block" a gather of molten glass
Devin Bannister, glass blowing instructor, shows Meghana how to properly shape her gather of molten glass using a cherry wood block. This is one of several methods of shaping glass and has been used by glass blowers around the world for centuries. The technique requires practice to be used effectively.
Devin is showing Meghana one technique for applying color to her bubble. The glass blower can simply sprinkle some colored "frit" on the glass blowing table (called a marver) and roll the hot glass over it.
Glass blowers must purchase colored glass from suppliers to add color to glass. It comes in many forms --from powders to pebble-sized pieces to solid one inch rods--depending on the application by the glass artist. Metal oxides are the primary ingredient in colored glass.
Reheating the Piece in the Glory Hole
Ram is learning how to reheat his glass art piece in the reheat furnace called a "glory hole". Glory holes run only during production and are generally powered by natural gas or propane. It can reach temperatures of 2300 degrees. It is a delicate balance reheating a piece in that it must be softened enough to be further worked or refined but not so much that previous work is not compromised.