Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Glass Factory - The Glass Blower

A continuation of our shopping trip to Mokkatam and The City of the Dead. In The City of the Dead, we visited a glass factory. We had to wait some time, as it appeared a tour group was visiting. It's a small shop, located across the street from the Qaitbay Mosque.

VB knows virtually nothing about glass blowing, except what was explained to her at the factory. For those of you, as uninformed as VB, here's a good article from Wiki on glassblowing.

(Below): The work area. The glass blower was busy with the tour group.

(Below): There's molten glass already in the oven. He's fetching some here.

(Below 2 photos): After he pulls it out, he shapes it on a slab of stone.

(Below): Now the blowing starts.

(Below) More shaping, as he holds it down to droop a bit.

(Below): More blowing. Now it's actually starting to look like glass.

(Below): More shaping, now of the lip part.

(Below 2 photos): A bit of reheating.

(Below): As he holds the vase in the oven to get reheated, he's grabbing (with his right hand) more molten glass, of a contrasting color, from a much smaller oven opening.

(Below 2 photos): He wraps the bright orange glass around the vase, for a decorative effect.

(Below): The artist with his finished product. The light you see reflected down on him is from an opening in the roof. We didn't ask, but VB guesses it's for exhaust. The fumes in the factory are quite strong, for those of us not used to them.

(Below): The rear of the oven. Oven temperature is regulated with the use of bricks. To turn up the temperature, he blocks the rear opening; and to reduce the heat, he opens it up. The pipe leads to canisters of natural gas.

(Below): The ad for their shop, out on the street.

Mamlukes Factory
El Souk St., Front of Qaitbay Mosque - Cairo

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