photo Blown glass


Blown glass (fukigarasu) is made by applying a gob of molten glass to the end of a stainless-steel tube called a blowpipe. Air is then blown into the tube, inflating the gob like a balloon and making it possible to manipulate the glass into various forms. The finished glass is placed in an annealing furnace and slowly cooled.
In free blowing (chūbuki), the glass is formed predominantly by changing how the pipe is moved or blown. Glass can also be blown into a wooden or metal mold using a technique known as mold blowing (katabuki), which makes it possible to produce a large number of pieces in the same form. The shape and thickness of glass creates beautiful variations in transparency and light refraction. Clear and colored glass can also be combined to produce fascinating color expressions.


  • 1.A gob of molten glass is gathered on the end of a blowpipe and removed from the furnace.
  • 2.Puffs of air are blown into the gob of glass to inflate and shape it.
  • 3.The glass is spun while a tong-like tool called jacks are used to expand the shape.
  • 4.The form is smoothed and adjusted. The finished piece is put in an annealing furnace and allowed to slowly cool.
  • Reference: Nihon Kōgeikai Higashi Nihon Shibu (Japan Kōgei Association Eastern Branch), ed., Dentō kōgei-tte nani? – miru, shiru, tanoshimu gaido bukku (What Are Traditional Crafts? –A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying). Unsodo, 2013.