How to Design a Lampwork Glass Paperweight

Create a glass paperweight with a floral design inside using these lampwork glassblowing techniques.

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Materials and Tools:

torch
kiln
marver plate
marble molds
20mm clear glass rod
9mm clear glass rod
4mm clear glass rod
stick of red colored rod
2mm blue colored stringer
2mm green colored stringer
oxygen tank
propane tank
didymium glasses
tongs
leather gloves

Steps: 

1. Break down 9mm rod into 12-inch lengths by scoring and popping. These will be used as handles.

2. Heat red colored rod in the torch's flame lightly and pull a 2mm stringer. Cut the glass. Repeat for the blue and green rods.

3. Flame-cut 20mm clear glass rod to 4-1/2 inch lengths.

4. Gather 20mm rod into a ball, leave about one inch of 20mm rod remaining. 

5. Flatten and gather into a disk on the marver plate.

6. Put a dot in the center disk.

7. Draw the first layer of petals around the dot with the green rods.

8. Reduce the disk so that it pulls the petals into the glass. It will form a dome.

9. Flatten the disk to push the pattern into the clear glass.

10. Repeat the reducing step until you see the first layer of glass resembling a small flower.

11. Flatten the disk and draw a second set of petals with the blue rods.

12. Reduce and flatten until the second layer of petals is floating in the glass.

13. Flatten and draw the leaves. Reduce and flatten two more times. Keep reducing and start the rounding process.

14. Round the marble by spinning in the flame using gravity to assist.

15. Finish the rounding process with marble molds.

16. Heat up red color and gather about a dime-sized ball of glass.

17. Push the red ball onto the marble and then down onto the marver plate to flatten and make the base.

18. Cold tack the handle to the bottom of the paperweight base.

19. Take off the top handle and round the top in the marble mold.

20. Tap off the handle and flame polish the area.

21. Using tongs, put the miniature paperweight into the kiln and anneal.

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