06 February 2009

What it’s like - glass

Take a look at these cufflinks that belong to Amelia’s dad.


They are made using Roman glass. That means it could be more than a thousand years old!

Yes, glass has been an important material for thousands of years. And it is still really important today.

Thomas told us that glass is made by melting a special kind of sand in a really hot fire.

Some of us are lucky enough to have visited a glass factory in Venice. There you can see a lump of hot molten glass which has been stuck onto the end of a long pipe, being ‘blown’ to shape, rather like blowing up a balloon (though I bet it probably needs a bit more puff!) There they make delicate, breakable things like wineglasses.


Glass can be coloured and used to make ornaments, like these:



Tommy told us that his glass elephant was made by cutting a lump of molten glass into the right shapes.

Most glass though is made in a factory like this bottle-making factory where molten glass is shaped by machine. These useful things would also have been made in a factory. Do you recognise them?


What makes glass a good material for things like these?

Glass can be made into beautiful jewellery, like this pendant, brooch and necklace:

IMG_2505 IMG_2535


Glass can even be made into toys. Marbles have been around for many years; our dads probably played marbles when they were little. Their dads probably did too! In fact, even the Romans played marbles. But probably not with these ones.


Look around you. Where do you see glass? Can you imagine a world where there was no glass?



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