Earlier this year I had the opportunity to take a 6 week (once a week class) for glass blowing. This experience was incredible! I was able to learn with students that were relatively new to this, so we all felt pretty comfortable and supportive of one another.
I was able to make a few cups, a bowl with a large lip and some other objects - both failures and successes. By the second class I was getting more comfortable around the furnace and handling the glass. Despite the classes being held towards the end of winter and being cold, the hot shop, well, was living up to its name!
Glassblowing is basically the opposite of everything I have learned about fusing glass. Fusing you work with cold glass, cut and shape it, then design the pattern and place in the kiln. The kiln does the hard work until its done and cooled enough to handle.... while glass blowing is working with a blob of VERY hot glass, using water to keep the tools from catching on fire and constantly reheating it. Once you get over that mental barrier, it starts to make sense.
We learned some of the basic steps like how to gather the glass (which is HEAVY!), how to shape it, then how to use the tools to further give shape and do the actual blowing.