From windows and mirrors to dividers and doors, glass is all around us. It surrounds us in houses and cars, in buildings and protects us from the elements. We see and use glass on a daily basis and yet know very little about this magical material. Glass is so important, but do you know what a glass-maker is called? How is glass made? Or even how glass can be good for the environment? So let’s talk glass.
A Glassmaker is…
A glassmaker is called a glazier (not to be confused with glacier). A glazier can work for companies or solo to make glass for industrial, practical or decorative purposes. In order to be a glazier, it is vital that you are detail oriented, work well in a team, and possibly able to work at high altitudes when installing building glass.
If industrial work interests you, first graduate high school or get your GED. Then you will have to head over to a trade school. There are many that focus on glazier work. This kind of work, though, focuses mainly on practical glass like windows and doors.
If decorative work is better, then building the skills with practice through an apprenticeship would be the best route. Also, art classes are used to strengthen your artistic skills and open up your creativity.
However, if you want to become a glazier, make sure you’re passionate and motivated.
Where does glass get its color?
This is quite fascinating! How does glass get color? Regular glass is made from silica sand and other materials to get the clear look. However, if you add metals to it, depending on which kind, the glass will change color accordingly. I find this absolutely fascinating. Some metals that are used include cobalt, copper, tin, chrome, and even gold.
What holds it all together?
It may be surprising to learn that copper and lead are the two materials used to hold glass, like stained glass, together. In fact, lead is the more preferred material because it is more predictable than copper. Glaziers create channels in the copper or lead to hold the edges of glass tightly in place. This means that the measurements have to be perfect for it to work! Who knew glass had so much math involved?
Is glass sustainable?
The answer… YES! That is why it is such a perfect option for everyday use. It is 100% recyclable and will not lose its quality. Glass is also made with materials we can find easily, like sand. So next time you have an option between glass or plastic, choose glass!
The magic of brown glass
Most food and drink containers are made of brown glass, like beer bottles. The carbon, sulfur and iron added to the mix produce its amber color which protects against ultraviolet light that would otherwise spoil the food.
While the topic of glass may not seem interesting on the surface, it can be fascinating and downright environmentally friendly to use. Glass is not only great for earth, but also very aesthetically pleasing.