When I started to get into Glassblowing I was broke as a joke. While you hopefully are not as broke as I was, money is never easy to come buy and Glassblowing equipment can be expensive. So Im going to introduce you to some great ideas on how to get into blowing glass for NO MONEY. Many times people are scared to even start looking into glass blowing because they think that it is going to take this massive investment. As I mentioned in the last blog post there are a variety of tools needed to get started in blowing glass. However, I recommend starting your journey without buying any equipment in the early stages. The internet has widened our access to all sorts of how-to videos, articles, and forums that can help you as you begin your glass blowing journey.
One of the first steps I recommend is to find some YouTube channels that show you step by step how a specific technique is done or how to make a specific glass piece. A really good place to start is with Revere Glass' Channel because he does a great job of explaining both the steps he is performing and the tools he is using. There are a good variety of other videos and YouTube channels that offer quality instruction and information on blowing glass. All you have to do is search. A great place to check out is Instagram - @monkeyboyart has LOVE Glassblowing videos.
Online glass forums can be another great way to learn about glass blowing. One of my favorite glass forums is TalkGlass.com and I highly recommend joining the forum whether you are brand new in glass or having been doing this for a while. Many of the amazing artists on TalkGlass are more than willing to provide feedback and new methods to help you as you are growing. It is always good to talk to others in the industry to gain new insight and ideas.
There are a couple exercises you can work on at home to get a better feel for working with glass without spending any money. My favorite beginner exercise is one where the goal is to spin two objects at the same speed each in a different hand. You can start by taking 2 pens of the same length and weigh and wrapping a piece of tape around each of them on the end so that a little tab sticks out. With a pen in each hand line up the 2 pieces of tape sticking out and begin spinning each pen, trying to keep the pieces of tape lined up perfectly. You will probably notice that one of your hands likes to spin faster than the other. For me this is my right hand. With time and focus you can create muscle memory that allows you to spin both pens evenly without too much effort. Once you buy your glass blowing equipment you will be replacing the pens with glass rods or tubing. Make sure you practice both forwards and backwards because you may need to do both when you blow glass.
My last recommendation for something you can do to prepare yourself for life as a glass blower, is to start pumping some weights. You will need lots of shoulder and forearm strength, especially if your interested in blowing glass rigs or larger pieces. If you don't have weights at home you can use, there are exercises you can look up online that utilize your own body weight. A quick example would be push ups and chair dips.
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