Day 314-Bonus Post-Making Water Bottles
The opening photograph is of Keith Morris shaping a gather of glass.
This is a shot of the top of a water bottle showing in the mold with the bubble still attached.
Here, a water bottle sets to cool slightly before it is placed in the holder which allows the bubble to be removed and the spouts to be added. I guessed that this was a Tangerine water bottle. Actually, it is Kiwi.
The blowpipe is rested on the top of the partition and rotated while the lip of the water bottle just grazes the metal plate, thereby removing the bubble of glass which is thinner than a glass Christmas ornament. The water bottle is then put into the glory hole to fire polish the jagged edge.
This is the shot of a lifetime for me. What you are seeing is a Mini water bottle in the glory hole getting it’s lip fire polished. If you look closely you can also see a regular water bottle sticking into another glory hole on the other side of the furnace being fire polished at the same time.
Donnie Garrett delftly adds spouts to the fire polished rim of the water bottle.
On a normal day someone else would take the finished water bottle and place it into the lehr to be tempered. On this particular day (October 30) the remnants of Hurricane Sandy had blanketed West Virginia with snow and many of the crew at Blenko were unable to make it in to work. That is why Donnie Garrett is placing the water bottle into lehr himself. This slows the process down but everyone pitches in to make operation work.
At the same time as the regular water bottles are being made another crew is busy blowing mini water bottles.
Making glass is like a well choreographed dance. The person in the middle has fire polished the rim and added the spouts (normally a two step/two person job) and the worker on the left is taking it to be placed in the lehr. Meanwhile, another water bottle has been blown and cleaned of its bubble and is ready to go into the holder.
I hope you enjoyed this tour.