Oh the irony! When we first began making Terra years ago, demand was so high that we couldn’t keep up. We invested in an awesome glass drawing machine that took one person instead of two, saved that person’s back and knees, kept the rods consistent and produced very little glass waste.
From the beginning Terra was an unstable glass formula. Some mornings we’d open the furnace and the glass was opaque, other mornings it was clear! We sold the opaque glass and cried in frustration over the clear glass. Eventually the glass was clear more times than it was opaque. We had to stop selling it. For years we tried to solve the mystery through TE test batch after TE test batch. Several years and inspirations later we did discover the secret to keeping Terra stable. We tried to improve Terra with what we’d learned in the intervening years and brought you Terra 2 but it wasn’t close enough.
Still the requests for original Terra kept coming. We took out our improvements, kept the stable formula and to be certain we had it right, pulled the first pounds by hand. Those hand pulled rods came out in an opaque rainbow with mutiple rings in the core. We wheeled the furnace to our machine and the rods pulled tan without multiple rings. We released the machine pulled rods and put the few pounds of rainbow colored rods in a box.
We had a visitor a few weeks later whose much loved stash of original Terra was almost gone. We opened the box of hand pulled Terra and she said it was just like hers! We began to suspect that pulling Terra by hand was as essential as the formula. When the glass is pulled by hand, a hot punty is dipped into the furnace, the glass is marvered, reheated in a glory hole, and the process is repeated until we have a big enough gather to pull across the shop. All that super heating and chilling builds up layers of pre-struck glass creating multiple rings at the core and a rainbow of opaque rods. When the glass is pulled on the machine it stays a nice even temperature and never gets super heated or chilled resulting in glass that is unstruck. So this year, we’re going retro, firing up the glory hole and bringing you Hand Pulled Terra!