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Glassmaking in Seto

Glassmaking in Seto

Contemporary glass artists most often work with free-blown methods which offer more unique designs. This first and original method uses bursts of air blown into globs of heated, molten material at the end of a blowpipe--known as the "gather". Artists carefully rotate and swing blowpipe, control temperature of gather, incorporate air into glass to achieve desired shape.


My sister and I had a chance to try this magical work of art. We found a workshop online and booked a session with Mr. Lee Malryong at his art studio named Balt also known as ArtSet in Seto, Aichi. It’s ¥3,500 (Php 1665) per person exclusive of shipping (¥900 or Php 427) for the final product.

That morning, we each made our own drinking glassware. When it was our turn, I specifically wanted to make a big drinking glass for my chu hi with ice and of course Lee San didn’t believe me at first but the finish product says it all.


First he asked us to choose colors for our glasses. Those broken colored glasses was just pretty to look at.


Then he guide us in dipping the metal rod into molten material which we rotated slowly so that it evenly distribute on the tip of the rod. After that we covered it with colored glasses to give that personalized look.


He then made us continuously rotate it into a furnace to completely melt all the materials together.


He assisted us to smoothening the molten glass using layers of wet cardboard. Once it was ready, we blew into the other end of the metal rod to give its shape.


When we were done he helped us cut the bottom of the blown glass using a steel tweezers. Which he gently hit using a rubber hammer. He then used a blow torch to smoothen the bottom of the glass. It took 2 hours from start to finish. 


The final touch was cooling the glass in an annealing oven for 14 hours. Voila!

Lee San said that my glass was the first huge glass he has ever seen. Mission accomplished! We waited for more than a week to have our custom made glass shipped to us and we were ecstatic.

It was truly an amazing experience. I liked how the whole process was both fulfilling and a great way to learn about free-blown glassmaking. I highly recommend to try this activity.

LOCATION
〒489-0042 Aichi-ken, Seto-shi, Nakagirichō, 3番地
0561-42-6604
Monday-Sunday 10:00AM-6:00PM

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