Glass-blowers design, produce and decorate glass artefacts such as stained glass windows, mirrors and architectural glass. Some glass-blowers specialise in restoring, renovating and repairing original pieces. They may also work as scientific glass-blowers, designing and repairing laboratory glass.
The following job titles also refer to glass-blower:
glass designer and maker
decorative glass artist
glass designer & maker
glass designer & blower
glass designer and blower
scientific glass maker
No formal educational credential is generally required to work as a glass-blower.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Glass-blower is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Glass-blower career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to glass-blower.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of glass-blower. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of glass-blower with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of glass-blower.
- Labour legislation: Legislation, on a national or international level, that governs labour conditions in various fields between labour parties such as the government, employees, employers, and trade unions.
- Intellectual property law: The regulations that govern the set of rights protecting products of the intellect from unlawful infringement.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of glass-blower.
- Tend kiln for glass painting: Tend kilns which are used to affix paint on glass. They may tend gas or electric kilns.
- Create artwork: Cut, shape, fit, join, mould, or otherwise manipulate materials in an attempt to create a selected artwork – be the technical processes not mastered by the artist or used as a specialist.
- Maintain an artistic portfolio: Maintain portfolios of artistic work to show styles, interests, abilities and realisations.
- Design stained glass: Create sketches and designs for stained glass objects, e.g. windows.
- Select artistic materials to create artworks: Select artistic materials based on strength, colour, texture, balance, weight, size, and other characteristics that should guarantee the feasibility of the artistic creation regarding the expected shape, color, etc. – even thought the result might vary from it. Artistic materials such as paint, ink, water colours, charcoal, oil, or computer software can be used as much as garbage, living products (fruits, etc) and any kind of material depending on the creative project.
- Cut glass: Use glass cutting tools or diamond blades to cut pieces out of glass plates, including mirrors.
- Manipulate glass: Manipulate the properties, shape and size of glass.
- Monitor art scene developments: Monitor artistic events, trends, and other developments. Read recent art publications in order to develop ideas and to keep in touch with relevant art world activities.
- Study artistic techniques: Study a variety of artistic techniques and learn how to apply them in concrete artistic projects.
- Maintain glass thickness: Maintain the specified thickness of glass by adjusting the speed of rolls on the kiln.
- Observe glass under heat: Observe the characteristics of the glass already set into the kiln so that cracking, warping or blistering is avoided.
- Design objects to be crafted: Sketch, draw or design sketches and drawings from memory, live models, manufactured products or reference materials in the process of crafting and sculpting.
- Study artworks: Study styles, techniques, colours, textures, and materials used in works of art.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of glass-blower. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Ceramics glazes: The characteristics, compounds and application of different glaze type such as raw or frit glazes.
- Glass coatings: Coatings used to protect glass from damage, to influence its behaviour when damaged, to keep harmful UV rays out, and others. Their usage cases, advantages and disadvantages and price points.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of glass-blower. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Inspect glass sheet: Inspect the drawn sheets of glass in order to detect any flows such as blisters or stones, signalling the defective glass sheets.
- Collaborate with technical experts on artworks: Collaborate with engineers, mechanics, and other technical experts to build, install and move pieces of art.
- Confer on artwork: Introduce and discuss the nature and content of art work, achieved or to be produced with an audience, art directors, catalogue editors, journalists, and other parties of interest.
- Submit preliminary artwork: Submit preliminary artwork or art project plans to clients for approval, leaving room for additional suggestions and changes.
- Form bed for glass: Form a bed for glass on the metal trays by spreading plasters of paris using rollers or pallete knifes.
- Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
- Position glass on trays: Position the glass on the specific kiln trays using the tongs.
- Participate in artistic mediation activities: Participate in cultural and artistic mediation activities: announce the activity, give a presentation or talk related to a piece of art or an exhibition, teach a class or a group, lead artistic mediation activities, lead or participate in a public discussion.
ISCO group and title
7315 – Glass makers, cutters, grinders and finishers
- Glass-blower – ESCO