|What is the difference between 'glassblowing' and 'lampworking'?||back|
Originally glassblowing was done with small furnaces fired by wood, and the glass was worked on the end of an iron tube called a 'blowpipe'. This method of using blowpipe and furnace is traditionally called 'glassblowing', while 'lampworking' came later with the invention of various kinds of 'lamps' that could melt the glass. They literally use to blow with their breath into the flame of an oil lamp; that was their torch, or 'lamp'. More sophisticated means of forcing air were eventually employed, and today (big jump there) lampworkers, or benchworkers mostly use compressed propane and oxygen which produces a much hotter flame than a simple gas-air torch. The old (ancient) style of glassblowing, with the furnace and blowpipe is also still very much in use today.