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Gloves Print

Depending on the equipment and set-up of the glass blowing studio, gloves are used in various capacities, but are generally not worn during the actual working and shaping of the glass. Their main purpose is during the very short “boxing” process, when the finished glass piece is removed from the punty and picked up or caught in gloved hand, then placed in the annealing kiln as quickly as possible.

Gloves can also protect the hands when opening or reaching into a hot kiln (again usually during the boxing process), for opening doors, moving heat shields , charging the crucible furnace, or using tools that get hot or require your hands to get hot.

There are several options for heat resistant gloves, each with their own level of protection, dexterity, grip, and resistance to abrasion. 

  • Oven gloves as used for barbequing offer minimal protection, but are cost effective and adequate for relatively low temp uses, and have good finger movement.
  • Leather welder’s gloves also offer minimal protection, but have better grip and much better resistance to abrasion. However, leather with shrink, stiffen, and crack over time due to exposure to heat.
  • High Temperature Gloves and Mitts.  These are generally rated by temperature, from 1000 degrees F to 2000 degrees F. This temperature rating only applies to the surface of the glove – protective gloves, even high temp gloves, will burn as the heat transfers through to the insulating inner material, and in time the hands inside will burn too. Options include gloves, mitts, reversible mitts, mitt covers, aluminum backing, and leather palms.

Glass Blowing Gloves  Glass Blowing Mitts
High Temperature Gloves and Mitts for Glass Blowing sold by Artco Inc.

Choosing Gloves for glass blowing can be a complex process, taking multiple factors into consideration. Check here for very insightful and clear information .

Highlights to remember:

“The purpose of a high temperature glove is to delay the transfer of heat, from a hot object or region, to your hands, hopefully long enough for you to accomplish what you need to do.”

“The temperature rating of the glove is that temperature, below which, the face material won't burn! It has nothing to do with how hot your hands will get!”

“Buy the least expensive glove that does what you need it to do, and expect to have to replace it. Gloves are going to wear out.”

See other tools and equipment needed for glass blowing kits.