I join a group of glass blowing virgins in the studio and our teachers for the day, Ali and Jade, introduce us to the furnace - kept at a blistering 11,000 degrees centigrade! Inside the furnace sits the crucible, it holds a pool of clear molten glass shimmering like crystal water. It's beautiful but kind of terrifying at the same time.
Next we're shown the glory holes - this raises a good few smirks but the girls are used to it. Not as fiercely smoldering as the furnace, glory holes re-heat the glass so that it becomes workable again but doesn't melt entirely.
We check out the work stations, where glass is blown, rounded and smoothed to perfection.
And finally the annealer - a cooling cabinet, where freshly made glasswear is slowly cooled down. It can't rest in room temperature because it will cool too quickly and this can cause the glass to become unstable - not what you want after all the work that goes into blowing glass.
We're all given a fetching pair of safety glasses while the safety procedures are explained. The thought of any of us waving around hot molten glass is still scary, especially as if you're not the one holding the glass then it's your responsibility to get out the way! Eeek.