House Numbers: Can we Pull off a Finished Look?

House Numbers: Can we Pull off a Finished Look?

The Journey of Creating House Number 716

In the heart of the Glass Academy hot shop, a few numbers take shape; 7-1-6. It's our house number and I've been trying for some time to get this project off the ground, and by some time, I mean about 12 years now! 😂  Experimental Show #99 is a fusion of skill, patience, and artistic vision. Will I be able to pull it off?!

The Color and Composition

The chosen color, a serene baby blue, is the center of the project. This color will show up against some dark wood and placed upon our light colored house as the identifying house numbers once completed.  The process begins with adding a light blue layer of glass, followed by a clear coating over the top. This combination is not mere aesthetics; it's a deliberate choice for its sparkling and reflective quality, ensuring the numbers not only stand out but also bring me joy as I enter the home.

Challenges and Adaptations

Glassblowing is an art that demands constant adaptation. In this video you'll see the number six presents a glitch, a reminder that in art, as in life, perfection is a journey. The struggle is REAL! 😂😂😂 I address these challenges with a blend of technique and improvisation. Every tool, from the string measurement to jacks, plays a role in this intricate balance of creation.

Technique and Tools

The process is detailed and complex. From choosing the right mold size to ensure durability and aesthetic appeal, to the careful application of a specific heat zone using the torch, every action is purposeful. I've chosed a medium-sized mold for the ribs on the outer surface of the numbers, giving me option for thicker and more robust finished number shape.

As the numbers take shape, the challenge of ensuring a polished, finished look emerge. It's not just about cutting the glass from the pipe; it's about refining the ends, using jacks and other tools, to achieve a seamless appearance. This attention to detail is what sets apart a mere product from a piece of art. The apprentice from the Master, it's those little details that really finish the piece. Subtle but necessary.

Artistic Choices and Reflections

The choice of color and the decision to twist the glass to a certain degree are artistic decisions that add character to the project. These choices are not random; they are rooted in a desire to create numbers that are not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing and reflective of the homeowner's taste and personality.

The use of a torch to adjust and perfect each number illustrates the blend of art and science that glassblowing embodies. This is a dance of fire and glass, where heat molds the material into desired shapes and textures.  I am so thankful we have these torches to really pull together the polished look I'm going for.

Collaboration and Adaptability

This project is also a lesson in adaptability. From handling unexpected glitches with the number six to adapting techniques for different numbers, I demonstrate a remarkable ability to pivot and problem-solve. This adaptability is not just a skill; it's an essential ingredient in the creative process to have as an artist, so I can learn to ebb and flow as the glass teaches me.

Behind-the-Scenes Insights

This video offers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of glassblowing - the preparation of tools, the cleaning of the workspace, and the subtle nuances of working with molten glass. These insights are valuable not just for understanding the process but also for appreciating the art form.

The Final Touches

The final steps in creating the numbers involve attaching small glass pieces of clear glass to the backside, allowing a space for mounting and letting light shine between the wood and the glass. This detail, though small, is significant. It's not just functional; it's a thoughtful addition that enhances the overall effect.


The project of creating house number 716 at the Glass Academy is more than just crafting numbers; it's a testament to the beauty and complexity of glassblowing. It's a story of color, precision, and artistic expression. The journey, with its challenges and triumphs, is a microcosm of the art form itself. The narrative captures the essence of what it means to create something beautiful, functional, and enduring.

As I weave through the process, from the initial gathering of glass to the final number, we are reminded of the power of art to transform simple materials into something extraordinary. The house number 7-1-6, once completed, will be more than just an address identifier; it will be a piece of art that reflects the skill, creativity, and passion of its creator and something fun I can enjoy every time I open the door to home!

What's next?

The mention of future shows in 2024 and plans to answer behind-the-scenes questions indicates a commitment to sharing knowledge and engaging with a broader audience. This openness adds another layer to our business making it not just a personal endeavor but also an educational one. 😃

Back to blog


I like the numbers. Mine is an easy one 114. What are you going to put them on. Will you show them after they are put up?

Linnie Green

I like the numbers. Mine is an easy one 114. What are you going to put them on. Will you show them after they are put up?

Linnie Green

I love how creative you are! I have a carrot that Chris made, I don’t know how to hang it!

Carol Jutras

This is a very cool idea. I can see more people wanting house numbers once you perfect them all. Lol

Susan Bell

Leave a comment