The hot glass is actually sitting or rolling on a layer of steam between the wet newspaper. It is the challenge of the glassmaker to continually keep turning the blowing iron on this layer of steam. One mistake, and you will lose your piece.
If the blowing iron stops turning, there is a risk of the newspaper sticking to the molten glass, and flaws can be created. Keeping the newspaper at the right humidity and away from the glass at the right moments is a skill that takes a long time to be mastered.
The pad is used by shaping it to the the flat of the hand and gently cupping it around the glass. Normally, once shaped, the newspaper pad is laid on the bench face up, and more water is added until the next reheat.
It has been said that The New York Times is legendary for being the best newspaper for working glass! "Bad" paper turns to pulp when wet, while "good" paper retains its shape and layers.
But as our glass is all made in England, we use English Newspapers!
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