From sand to glass.
People have been making glass for more than 5,000 years. It is so special that it was once used as money! But how is glass made? Mystery solved. It all begins with sand.
Sand is the main ingredient in glass.
It is mixed with other things to make it melt faster, to make the glass stronger, and to give it color. This mixture is called "batch."
The batch is put into a furnace and heated to about 2,700[degrees]F. That's hotter than a volcano! The batch melts and becomes liquid glass.
In factories, liquid glass is poured into molds to make bottles, bowls, and other objects.
In a studio, a glassblower makes one glass object at a time.
First, he dips the end of a hollow metal pipe into the liquid glass. Then he turns the pipe to gather a ball of glass big enough to work with.
The artist blows into the other end of the pipe to form the shape he wants. The glass is reheated many times to keep it soft and workable.
When the piece is finished, the glassblower removes it from the pipe to slowly cool.
Glass is useful and beautiful. Sometimes it's just plain fun!
Meet glass Humpty Dumpty! This piece was created in a glassblower's studio. See these amazing artists in action at humptydumptymag.org/glassblowing.