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Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009
James & Pam festive glass blowing
Baubles
Malcolm Sutcliffe has been working with glass for over twenty years

Christmas is fast approaching as is the moment when the decorations will be taken down from the attic for putting around your home.

One Cornish craftsman however is already busily blowing bubbles to create a myriad of Christmas baubles.

Malcolm Sutcliffe is working hard at his glassblowing studio in Penryn.

BBC Radio Cornwall's James Churchfield and Pam Spriggs went to see him at work and have a go themselves.

Malcolm starts the glassblowing process by dipping a blowing iron into the furnace, that has a temperature over 1000 degrees Celsius which contains a pool of molten glass.

Then, using a damp wooden block he shapes the molten glass on the pipe, at this point Malcolm has to twist the pole and blow heavily into it to inflate the glass bubble and ensure a cylindrical shape on the bauble.

 glass blowing

Once the glass has inflated it needs to cool and be left until the following day where it will be treated to protect the newly forged shape.

Originally Malcolm was trained in glass and ceramic work, but prefers the instant results of working with glass as he explains:

"It's such an instant material , you can work with it so quickly, it's very fluid and exciting. As opposed to ceramics, which take days to dry, with glass you can make something within half an hour and its pretty well finished, and that's quite exciting."

When James and Pam came to having a go at the technique both struggled to get the pressure and technique of glass blowing right, James even managed to pop his. You can hear a clip of Pam and James' attempts by clicking on the player on the right hand side.

Malcolm and his wife Jean, are hosting an Open Evening tonight at his studios on West Street in Penryn to show people how it's done. The session will be held at 6pm on Friday 27 November with a raffle in aid of Cancer Research.




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