The artistry of the wooden mould-maker is an ancient craft, with all too few mastering it today, although it is of essential importance to traditional glass-blowing.
From an idea to realisation in glass, the mould making process goes through various stages. An initial drawing or free-hand blown sample must be transferred onto special templates which are used when carving the moulds.
The shape of the templates and the mould itself depends upon the technique the glass-blower decides to use; pontiled and hand finished, pop-cracked and flame polished, etc.
The mould is turned on the lathe or carved out of fresh, carefully selected knot-free wood, usually alder or beech. The surface is meticulously finished by hand with sharp knives and gouges.
When the hot glass comes in contact with the damp surface of the mould, which is soaked in water when not being used, a thin layer of steam is formed acting like a cushion between glass and mould. This is the secret behind the exquisite surface on glassware blown in wooden moulds!
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