The Glass Blower, The Lamp Worker and The Crucible

Star of David stained glass

The aged man named Joshua stepped carefully to the first oven with his ancient tools. He wore steel-toed boots, and protective glasses. He knows that synthetic garments cannot be worn here because anything made of false fibers will melt. The heat from the oven warmed his face as he continued spinning the metal rod in a circular motion. He had great vision for his work and could foresee the finished masterpiece before he ever breathed upon it.

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5).

There were three furnaces in the hothouse where he labored. The first one is the initial furnace, inside of which is a pot (called a crucible). Like a gold jar containing manna, this crucible transforms. The sizzling pop of glass altering and shifting in the flames was like a melody in his ears. He smelled a sweet aroma as smoke blew forth from the piece he was working on. The light of the fire from the furnace glimmered upon his face catching the hairs of his auburn beard as more sparks flew like fireflies.

And you came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness” (Deuteronomy 4:11).

The dictionary defines the word crucible as a situation of severe trial, in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something BRAND NEW.

The man knows those pieces of glass will join together and eventually be an object of exquisiteness. But for now, they are just ‘BROKEN’ pieces of clear glass.

crystal gemstones

You are to tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel associated with him, and I will put them together with the stick of Judah. I will make them into a single stick, and they will become one in My hand.’ (Ezekiel 37:19).

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

He notices that his piece is beginning to take shape as he reaches inside the furnace and into the crucible and gathers another layer on the end of his blowpipe. Joshua, now, directs his attention to the table of stone, rolling his molten glass on the marver.

close up photo of gray metal handheld tool

The marver is a slab of stone upon which molten glass is rolled to give it its shape. His Father, long ago, wrote on Sapphire stone tablets with his very Finger the Words of LIFE. This Word became flesh.

All the words and symbols of the hothouse have meaning just as His Torah does. Reflect on how the Word marver is similar to marvel, “a miracle; a thing, act, or event which causes astonishment.” “Joshua is called a glass smith, gaffer, or a LAMP WORKER. A lampworker (often also called a glassblower manipulates glass with the use of a TORCH.

person holding grey lit torch

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11).

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (Yeshua, Messiah).” (I Peter 1:6-7).

We are to be lampworkers, shining for all to see.

You are the light of the world.  “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16).

After rolling and shaping his instrument, Joshua then heats the glass in the GLORY HOLE – all the while, in the glow of the fiery flames, he is turning the blowpipe and keeping it in constant motion.

The Glory of our Father, His Shield, His Bow, and His Strong Right Arm is shaping each of us with continuous motion, like the intensity of a dove in rapid movement fluttering over the waters. His Glory will come out of that hot hole like gold. His Glory will shine through His Creation. His Shekinah and the light of His fire is changing the elements in each of us—burning out our fleshly natures.

When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

photography of cocktail glass on rack

From the Corning Museum of Glass:

How did the furnace acquire the name glory hole? “While there is no concrete answer, there are several plausible origins of this term. In an old factory, where smoke and dust were everywhere, a 2100° opening would have created an illusion, not unlike that seen in paintings of saints and angles where “The Glory” radiated from their heads. A break in the clouds where sunlight passes through is also called a glory hole.”

I could shout right now!!

“The best arrangements for annealing may be foiled, should the Glassblower unnecessarily lose time after finishing the work; as the hotter, the goods enter the arch, the better; on this account, the large goods receive a final reheating at the mouth of a pot heated by cherry-wood, and called the Glory Hole. Successful annealing depends much upon the proper direction of the wind.”

The man takes the heated glass on the blowpipe and rolls it over the colored powdered dust. He picks up pieces with each roll. He places fragments of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control onto his creation. Then, it’s back to the Glory Hole, where the colored glass is heated to melt into the clear. Again, he turns the pipe to keep the shape at the end of the pole. He takes his other hand and picks up the cherry block of wood (to bud and flower-like the almond tree) and then wet paper (Like the fresh ink of a new Torah scroll), stainless steel, and other tools to help fashion his creation. Sitting at his bench, he determines the shape of each piece with a careful eye.

Now, the actual blowing begins:

man making fire

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8).

He lifts the blowpipe to create a bubble and blows a puff of his Ruach HaKodesh into his vessel. He cannot blow too much at this stage, or the piece will not take shape. Then it’s back to the Glory Hole for reheating and reshaping. He walks back to his merciful bench, inspecting. He continues this over and over again until he has a vessel worthy of use.

brown clay pot

“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make” (Jeremiah 18:3-4).

The man wipes the sweat from his brow and takes his creation to a punty. This is another steel pipe that’s been heating over flames. Moving the piece from the blowpipe to the punty will make it possible for the artist to create the opening of the vase or the bowl. He knows this opening will allow his vessel to hold oil. The punty (rod) will be attached to what will become the bottom of the piece.

Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps (Matthew 25:3-4).

woman holding lantern

Eventually, the man wraps the blowpipe and snaps off the piece, breaking it away. After heating it again in the glory, he returns to his bench and uses multiple tools to open the mouth of his vessel.

“I, the LORD, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10).

The blower then takes the punty and hits it firmly so that the piece drops off into a box that is filled with thick layers of fire blankets. Our Father blankets each of us and protects us from all the fiery darts of the enemy.

The man then walks to the Annealing Oven to Cool his masterpiece.

selective focus photograph of melted glass

“The function of an Annealing Oven is to perform the process of softening an object or changing other properties of the object through cycles of heating and cooling.”

The word annealing is derived from the Old English word onǣlan, which was formed from the Old English root āl, meaning “FIRE.”

The Hebrew word for fire is Esh: (Genesis 2:7)

Creator Fire maker: From the ancient Hebrew text.

 “And the fire maker formed a man of dust on the tinder, and he blew into the tinder the breath of life, and the man became a living fire.” Jeff Benner.

OH, THE GLORY OF ADONAI!

“Using gloves, the artist picks up the scorching-hot piece and quickly transfers it to an annealing oven. This oven is kept at 960⁰F and then cooled down over a period of 14 hours to room temperature. This slow cooling down is to prevent the piece from cracking or breaking.”

(14 is the number of Messiah).

The Lamp Lighter and Glass blower reminded me of a passage from Malachi chapter three.

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. 2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. 4 “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.”

As we venture into the crucible, the Glory hole and the KNEELING oven.

May we allow the Lamp Lighter to form us and create a vessel worthy of holding His oil and His Spirit. May we let His Ruach Breath breathe in us, and reside there. May we bless the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, The G-d of Israel! The One who created the Universe. And may our fast go well with us to inscribe our names in His Book of LIFE.

Blessings,

Tekoa

“You are holy and Your name is holy
and those who are holy praise You
every day.
Blessed are You Adonai, the Holy G-d.”

 

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