Nov 10th 13 8:19 pm
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Glass blower looking for feedback

by LUB_GLASS » Nov 10th 13 8:19 pm

Hello, everyone. I'm a coffee drinker turned tea lover as of last month. I have been a borosilicate glass blower for nearly 6 years. I decided I wanted to start cornering the tea pot market. All the ones I see are very cheap, very thin, and from my trained eye, made in a large scale production company by a lathe that spins the glass for you. I've so far made 5, two clear prototypes, 3 colored ones. Upon further research, I'm realizing that gaiwan and yixing is preferred by many. The guy who got me into tea uses the ingenuitea and pours that into a glass serving pot. Does anybody want glass pots that fit typical screen mesh infusers? Or would they be better suited just as serving pots? Or would you use them as a yixing style pot and just pour through a filter after the brewing? I'm really trying to get on this, but I want to please the purists, as well as the novice steepers. I love glass for its durability, unlimited cleaning potential, and the beauty of the color work I can do that simply isn't possible with clay. I'd appreciate any opinions, expected price ranges, tips, etc. Thank you, I'm excited to be on this forum. Long live oolong.

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Nov 10th 13 8:42 pm
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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by Chip » Nov 10th 13 8:42 pm

Perhaps you would be interested in posting a topic in TeawareArtisans on TeaChat where you could freely look for ideas as well as market your creations.

Contact me if interested!

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Nov 10th 13 8:46 pm
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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by debunix » Nov 10th 13 8:46 pm

What an interesting post. I have a few glass pots that I enjoy very much: they don't add anything to the tea I brew in them the way some clays can, but they also take nothing away from them either. I would enjoy a few glass pieces with an art glass touch as much as I enjoy my artisan ceramics--they'd be a nice excuse to buy some special glass because I know I'd use it, unlike all the pretty vases and bowls that I would not.

My favorite glass teapots are small inexpensive pieces that are, as you point out, made of very thin and not very sturdy glass--but they're cheap enough that I can afford to replace them as needed (the one I linked to has a string for the lid because I've broken several when the lid falls as I pour from it). I like them better than the larger sturdier one that I have because the big one has a metal mesh basket strainer insert, and that wrecks the clean look of the glass. The cheap little pots have a glass filter at the base of the spout, which doesn't detract from the look nearly as much. I need my pots to be functional--the ones that weren't are quickly weeded out--but it's always nice when they can be beautiful to boot.

Another thing I dislike in the more usual commercial glass pots are painted/enameled advertisements, slogans, etc, that detract. A nice artisan signature on the bottom, on the other hand, would enhance.

Hope that helps.

Nov 10th 13 11:21 pm
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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by LUB_GLASS » Nov 10th 13 11:21 pm

Dang, how did I miss that topic?! Should I move this thread and remove it from here, or get a new one going over there with a slightly different layout? Sorry.

Nov 10th 13 11:35 pm
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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by LUB_GLASS » Nov 10th 13 11:35 pm

And debunix, thank you for the response. That was indeed helpful. What is the absolute most you would ever spend on a glass one if you fell in love with it?

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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by brose » Nov 10th 13 11:49 pm

The problem I have with the common borosilicate gaiwan and pitchers I have is that they do not retain heat nearly as well as the ceramic ones. Hence they mainly go unused.

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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by Chip » Nov 11th 13 2:01 am

LUB_GLASS wrote:Dang, how did I miss that topic?! Should I move this thread and remove it from here, or get a new one going over there with a slightly different layout? Sorry.
Lub_Glass, I sent you a message via the forum's message board. See the top center of the forum for your messages.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by yalokinh » Nov 12th 13 1:54 am

I use a small glass gaiwan and it is my favorite. I also have a two walled 100ml pitcher I use with the gaiwan, its also my favorite. I never realized how often I use it. Check out the teaware artisan page to see what the other creators are doing, of course its not glass but I could see a lot of possibilities.

Nov 13th 13 6:31 pm
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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by LUB_GLASS » Nov 13th 13 6:31 pm

brose wrote:The problem I have with the common borosilicate gaiwan and pitchers I have is that they do not retain heat nearly as well as the ceramic ones. Hence they mainly go unused.
As in in cools off too fast, or it just burns your hand? Glass is an interesting compound. I can hold a handle in the flame with an object on the end of it, and the heat will not transfer down the handle more than a few inches, but once an entire vessel is full of hot liquid, the heat does dissipate quickly. Would this trait be beneficial to some teas, such as delicate greens?
I think that a lot of the ideas I have are more American/English style brewing, but now I'm realizing how many of you partake in the gongfu style brewing. It would be extremely expensive for me to make a whole gongfu set, but I would love to. I think I would have to sell it for about $1000, which is just a rough estimate, but I have a hard time picturing most people wanting to spend that much money. (Hope this isn't perceived as advertising, Chip)

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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by hopeofdawn » Nov 13th 13 6:44 pm

When it comes to gongfu, a lot of us buy pieces one at a time (except for maybe cups, which can come in sets of 3-5). So maybe focus on making unique/beautiful single pieces instead? I could see teapots, servers/fair cups, cups, trays and bowls/tea boats all being possibilities, if not too exorbitantly priced ....

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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by brose » Nov 13th 13 10:04 pm

LUB_GLASS wrote:
brose wrote:The problem I have with the common borosilicate gaiwan and pitchers I have is that they do not retain heat nearly as well as the ceramic ones. Hence they mainly go unused.
As in in cools off too fast, or it just burns your hand? Glass is an interesting compound. I can hold a handle in the flame with an object on the end of it, and the heat will not transfer down the handle more than a few inches, but once an entire vessel is full of hot liquid, the heat does dissipate quickly. Would this trait be beneficial to some teas, such as delicate greens?
I think that a lot of the ideas I have are more American/English style brewing, but now I'm realizing how many of you partake in the gongfu style brewing. It would be extremely expensive for me to make a whole gongfu set, but I would love to. I think I would have to sell it for about $1000, which is just a rough estimate, but I have a hard time picturing most people wanting to spend that much money. (Hope this isn't perceived as advertising, Chip)
The water cools off too fast. For most of the things I make I want the tea to stay as warm as long as possible. This seems one area that is not currently addressed in the glassware available. It would be really cool to make pitchers and gaiwans with a vacuum insulating layer - roughly vacuum flask like.

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Nov 14th 13 2:50 am
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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by jayinhk » Nov 14th 13 2:50 am

I checked out your work Lub_Glass--you have real skills!

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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by gasninja » Nov 14th 13 3:14 am

Im glass blowing tea drinker as well. Ive been lamp working for thirteen years so If you have any questions pm me.
Any pics of your work?
What kind of lathe do you have?

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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by Devoted135 » Nov 16th 13 3:46 am

hopeofdawn wrote:When it comes to gongfu, a lot of us buy pieces one at a time (except for maybe cups, which can come in sets of 3-5). So maybe focus on making unique/beautiful single pieces instead? I could see teapots, servers/fair cups, cups, trays and bowls/tea boats all being possibilities, if not too exorbitantly priced ....
+1 :)

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Re: Glass blower looking for feedback

by 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Nov 16th 13 9:21 am

My wife recently bought a fair cup/tea cooler/chahai made of glass that rests in a bamboo sleeve. It's a very pleasant combination of materials aesthetically. As well, she had been looking for two, small, gong fu tea sized, double-walled, glass tea cups and found a set of two from Bodum.
She was interested in creating a glass set for work so as to pour tea during break times at the office.

In our home we have two glass chahais that we use when pouring gong fu tea. They are both double-walled and have a very nice spout that pours a very clean stream. The double-walled construction is nice to handle and preserves the heat, and it allows the color of the tea liquor to be seen clearly. We use these as an all around, go to tea cooler for various tea settings when we don't have another made of clay that matches a given tea setting aesthetic. To me they are versatile, functional, and have a simple elegance.

I find myself curious how creative shapes of glasswork when applied to tea could enhance the tea experience. I'm also curious about creative combinations such as the cooler that my wife purchased that has an attractive bamboo sleeve that the single-walled glass cooler slides inside of.

I can also see using a larger glass kettle for heating water if it was double-walled to preserve the heat and made of the appropriate glass for direct flame.

Blessings!