A craftsman begins by removing a specific amount of the glowing molten glass from the furnace with a blowpipe, which is preheated by dipping it into the molten glass while sitting in the furnace. A ball of molten glass gathers on one end of the blowpipe and the craftsman removes it from the furnace and rolls it over a flat sheet of thick steel called a marver, this gives a cool exterior layer to the glass which allows the final piece to be shaped. Next he blows into the end of the blowpipe across from the molten glass to create a bubble that will be the shape of the final piece. Since the exterior was cooled over the marver, the glass is able to hold the shape that was given as the craftsman blew into the pipe.
Adding detail to the creation comes next as the artist uses a special set of tweezers in order to pull the molten glass into the desired shape. As the glass begins to cool down, the shapes hold, and you start to see the final color of the finished product. For a flat surface to be attained on the piece, the artist uses a mechanism called a paddle, in order to manipulate the cooling glass into a smooth surface. The final product is removed from the end of the blowpipe and allowed to cool to its final room temperature. As it cools, it attains its strength and rigidity.
One more glass blowing page, complete with antique molds still used today.