We recently had the chance to visit the Glassblowers at Edinburgh College of Art, to see for ourselves how glass is blown and made from scratch.

What was immediately very clear was that very little has changed since Stephen Adam chose a Glassblower as one of the subjects for his stained glass panel.

Here's the 1878 Glassblower holding his blowpipe, with molten glass on the end of it:

And here's the 21st Century Glassblower:

The only real difference is in the use of safety glasses to protect the eyes - and that the furnaces now tend to be electricly heated, rather than by gas.

But the equipment, tools, and methodologies are little changed from Adam's day.

Wooden bench & selection of tools, 1878:

Wooden bench & selection of tools, 2011:

There's more details about the historic stained glass panel here.

Find out more about ECA's Architectural Glass programmes here.

Many thanks to Agelos, Caz & Alec for their time, enthusiasm, and patience in answering our questions!

More images from our visit can be seen on the flickr stream here: