Brief description of glass and glass blowing:
What is Glass?
As defined by the American Society for Testing Materials, glass is "an inorganic product of fusion which has cooled to a rigid condition without crystallizing".
Glass is a product of heating silica sand and other ingredients in a furnace at temperatures of 2300 to 2700 degrees
fahrenheit. The raw materials of soda-lime glass(commonly used for hand-blown glass) are silica sand, soda ash, lime, salt cake, and feldspar.
When glass is in its liquid or molten state it can be blown and manipulated into almost any shape. Hot glass has some of the same characteristics as honey. Above twothousand degrees Fahrenheit, glass is very runny and gooey.
A glassworker must always turn the pipe that the glass is on to prevent it from falling to the ground as one might turn a knife or a spoon with honey on it to keep it from dripping.
But as the glass cools, the molecules form a very rigid solid but they do not organize into a crystalline structure.
How Glass is blown:
The glassblower takes a blow pipe (a hollow metal pipe about four and half feet long) and dips the tip of the pipe into the molten glass in the furnace. He turns the pipe at a constant speed to wrap up an even "gather" of glass on the end of the pipe. Then, he exits the furnace and shapes the solid ball of glass on the marver(a flat sheet of steel) and then blows into the pipe to introduce a bubble into the solid mass.
From there, more glass may be added by gathering again from the furnace. When the desired amount of glass is obtained, the glass can be manipulated into shape using the marver, gravity, heat, centrifugal force, and a variety of specialized hand tools.
When the piece is finished, it is placed into an annealing oven to cool.
Glass must cool down slowly in order to release the stress present in it. The thicker the glass the more time it takes to anneal (the process of releasing the stress in the glass). For example, to anneal glassware a quarter inch thick, it takes about six to eight hours.
Anthony Borgioli is a third-generation Italian-American, born and raised in Hawaii. He was exposed to glass in High school, at Punahou School, but he began his formal training at the University of Hawaii at
Manoa. Anthony graduated from the University of Hawaii in the spring of 1998 with a B.A. in European Studies and a minor in Italian language. During his college career, he participated in two study abroad programs to Italy, where he immersed himself in the language and culture. Anthony's greatest challenge has been finding a union between his love for Italian and his passion for glass.
Anthony worked at Punahou as a teaching assistant in the glass department, from the spring of 1997 to December 1999. In 1998, he received a scholarship from Penland School of Crafts to be the translator for Cesare Toffolo, an Italian glass master. At present, Anthony works for glass artists, Michael and Misato
Mortara, in the lush rainforest of Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Anthony Borgioli is a traditional glass worker. He finds great enjoyment in the process of blowing glass. His ultimate goal is to open a glass studio in the Tuscany region of Italy, so that he may be
surrounded by his greatest passions.
--end of Bio