Glass Blower: Job Information for Students Considering a Career in Glass Blowing
Glass Blowing is an ancient art form, originally used for making bottles and tableware. In modern times there are scientific applications for glass blowing, but the technique is more commonly used to create decorative objects.
Career Definition: Glass Blower
Glass blowers, also called glassmiths or gaffers, use three separate apparatuses or divisions of a furnace to gather the molten glass, reheat it to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the creative process, and to gradually cool the final product. Traditionally, glass blowing has been used for bottles, especially small ones for perfume and for tableware such as stemmed glasses. Hand-blown stemware is still a popular outlet for glass blowing artists; decorative art and glassware used in scientific settings, such as chemistry labs, are other uses for this talent.
How to Become a Glass Blowing Professional
Required Education for a Career in Glass Blowing
Glass blowing is taught at specific schools, art studios, and art galleries across the U.S. Prospective Glass Blowers may find undergraduate fine arts programs with a concentration in glass that includes glass blowing techniques. Training under a glass blowing professional or non-credit classes or workshops in glass blowing are also ways that Glass Blowers can hone their skills.
Required Skills for a Career as a Glass Blower
Glass blowing involves a very specific skill set. It requires patience, heat tolerance, and willingness to work in potentially hazardous conditions. Glass blowing technique involves handling molten glass, as well as a variety of tools, metals, and dyes for decoration and scientific notation.
Glass Blowing Careers and Salaries
Careers typically include teaching and artistic work, and salaries vary from the hobbyist to the master craftsman. Glassware for scientific settings is usually priced by the case, so there is no specific average salary, according to the American Scientific Glassblowers Society (www.asgs-glass.org). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic, including glass blowers, earned a median annual wage of $29,300 in May 2012. The job growth for molders, shapers, and casters is projected to increase by 8% from 2010-2020.
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