Glassblowing Comes to Camp Chateaugay

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Camp Chateaugay in New York is adding glassblowing as another fun summer activity for their campers.

Camp Chateaugay

Ever wondered how glass bottles, marbles, ornaments or vases are made? There are so many items that are part of this ancient process of glass forming; called glassblowing. Glassblowing has been around since the time of the Roman Empire. Nowadays, glassblowing is known to be incredibly eco-friendly, 100% recyclable and uses less energy in the forming process than either plastic or metal.    

Camp Chateaugay is excited to welcome glassblowing to its long list of available activities. Upper camp campers (6th grade and up) will delight in this new and unique activity for 2013. This one of a kind building design (or hotshop) is built and waiting to be mastered! All glassblowing classes will be taught by a gaffer, which is a trained glassblower and ALL participants will wear the appropriate safety gear while working in the hotshop.

Inside the hotshop, campers will find a furnace that holds the crucible, which is a pot that contains the molten glass to be worked with. A blowpipe (made of iron or steel) is dipped into the furnace and a gob of molten glass is attached to the end of it when it is pulled out.

Next, the campers will move to the marver; a large flat surface to roll and shape the glass. The glass must continuously stay in motion while it is being shaped. After a time, the Chateaugay camper will find that their glass has cooled to a point where it can no longer be shaped. At this point, the blowpipe will be inserted into the glory hole (a second furnace), where it will remain suspended by yokes. The camper will continuously turn the blowpipe, until the glass is hot enough to continue the forming process. The Falorni glory holes at Camp Chateaugay were made in Italy.

Annealer, sometimes called a lehr, is used once the glass is shaped. It will ease the glass into the cooling process and will control the rate of decreasing temperature, so that the glass doesn’t crystalize from cooling too quickly.

This archaic process of creating art is a fantastic new addition to our existing Chateaugay activities list and sets us apart from other traditional camp programs; who do not usually offer such an opportunity. Campers will learn about the history of glass and its importance in our lives, the equipment to be used in the process of forming and they will also be able to create and bring home their very own special and unique pieces of glasswork.

About Camp Chateaugay

Imagine a New York Summer Camp in the Adirondacks that has unmatched beauty with our north shore location on one of the great Adirondack Lakes. For our campers who travel a bit farther to arrive here, Camp Chateaugay is almost like a special land in NY. To find out more, please visit

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Dov Shapiro
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