The true beginnings of glass blowing is controversial. Regardless of who originated the idea of glass blowing the original technique is universally identified as the same. When sand is heated to extreme temperatures liquid glass is created, when cooled it forms a sharp solid that we call glass. It is estimated by professional historians that glass originated somewhere around 3500 BC, but individuals of the field do not always agree on which civilization truly was the first.
If we are being technical, glass has been used as far back as the root of humanity’s existence can go. Natural glass was used during the stone-age. The form of glass used in the stone-age is formed when volcanic lava that is high in silica content rapidly cools. The end result is a shiny black glass, this is called obsidian, but this glass is in no way similar to the glass you will commonly see used today.
The earliest sign of evidence of glass blowing in ancient Egypt dates back to the 18th Dynasty, which was 1543-1291 BC. A small glass bead with Queen Hatshepset’s name written on it was found in the 1980s. Despite drawings being found of practitioners using a blow-pipe that date back further than the 18th Dynasty, this bead is the earliest true evidence of glass-blowing in ancient Egypt. Today, there’s a big variety of glass products available online. If you want to buy a dab rig or glass pipe you can purchase it here:
Taking into consideration that drawings depict glass blowers earlier than the origins of Queen Hatshepset’s bead, it is pretty safe to assume the ancient Egyptians were the utilize the art of glass-blow. But when did the rest of the world catch up? Glass-blowing was almost entirely used in Egypt, where is was regarded a precious gem, much like today’s sapphires and diamonds, until the first and second century AD. The art of glassblowing slowly made its way across all of the Mesopotamian, and then throughout the entire Middle East. Eventually products of these techniques made it all across the world with the help of travelers and merchants.
The Greeks may have been the first civilization to utilize the method of glassblowing that we still use today. This technique typically would require two people, one person operating the pipe, while another would add color and constantly heat and cool sections of the piece of molten glass. Earlier methods of glass blowing are believed to be done while the piece of molten glass was still in the furnace, resulting in a much more crude end result. The Greeks were innovators of the craft. Clay was previously the go to material for creating flasks, vials, and drinking cups, glass quickly replaced clay as the material used to create these items.