Dear Daedra: How Do You Make Strawesome Glass Straws?

Dear Daedra: How Do You Make Strawesome Glass Straws?

When I first started exploring glass work, I took a glass blowing class for beginners. I learned that using the heavy tools and dealing with lava hot ovens was too intense for me. That was a bit intimidating, but thankfully I found one another glass medium was just right for me. The oldest form of glass blowing is called lampworking or torch work. This is the method I focus on and love!

The torch I use works by combining oxygen and propane to get up to a steamy 1,500 degrees in order to heat the special glass that I use to make our straws.  To prepare the super-durable Borosilicate glass (same commercially strong glass used in Pyrex), I have to cut the long tube to the length needed.  I use a cutter to score the length I’ll need and then by hand snap off that portion of the tube.

making a glass straw

Next, I heat up each end in the flame to take away any sharp edge that exists after cutting it so that it is safe to put your mouth on. If the straw is plain, it stops there. If it’s a bent style, I heat the straw up where the bend will be located and use gravity and a steel rod to push it to the correct angle. I do all of that by hand and each straw is almost identically bent as the next (because I’ve made thousands of these).

If the straw is to be decorated, I then heat up unique rods of colored borosilicate glass and melt them onto the surface of the straw. The design itself can be a combination of one or more colors, so this is where I enjoy the variety and creative side of making straws. The decorative straw then goes immediately into a special oven and stays in there at 1,050 degrees for about 30 minutes before slowly cooling down for another 30 minutes. This process, called annealing, basically joins all the glass together so it is safe to use as glassware. (If we left this 1,500-degree straw out at room temperature, it would cool down too quickly and crack the decoration right off the tube of the straw.)

You can see examples here of all the straws we’ve designed in our Designs Section of our website.

Annealing Oven

Fun fact: My annealing oven is custom made from a metal mailbox!

Watch our video below to get a better visual of how we manufacture our straws.

Win a $15 Gift Certificate

I trust you found that interesting, but I want you to experience using a glass straw! Comment on this post and let us know what your favorite Designer Straw is that we’ve made (past or present). We’ll choose one (1) winner of a $15 Strawesome gift certificate on October 18, 2016.  One comment per person, please.

Comments (35)

  1. bloom straw is my fav

    laura revilla
    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  2. Meadow Long Straw

    Jamie C
    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  3. Stardust Smoothie Straw

    Mary
    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  4. Sea Turtle Conservancy straw

    Aimee
    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  5. Utopia Barely Bent Smoothie Straw

    Kristin Troska
    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  6. Blue shimmer barely bent straw. Beautiful! It would be fun to have some in red and clear for the holidays!!

    Lindsey Penn
    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  7. Violetta Long Smoothie Straw, I love that shade of violet

    Noreen
    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  8. I like the Meadow Long Straw

    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  9. My favorite is the “lizard” straw you made for me long ago!

    Joan Smith
    Oct 11, 2016 Reply
  10. I like the “Confetti Barely Bent Straw”. It’s simple but the little colored glass dots and loop around the top of the straw make it so cute!

    Myra
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  11. My favorite is the Violetta long smoothie straw.

    Rebecca
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  12. Would love the Aquarius straw. Want to have a white straw in my collection.

    Abby J
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  13. I love the Strawberry Barely Bent Straw!

    Kathy
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  14. My favorite straw is the Frogs Are Green straw. The little frog watching you drink is awesome! I don’t have one yet, but would love to get one!

    Ryan
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  15. Hard to pick just one but I guess it will have to the The Aquarius.

    PS. Your husband looks so much like Clint Black! Have been meaning to mention that for a couple of years!

    Carol Jackson
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  16. I loved reading about your process! Hard to choose a favorite but I loved the sea turtle straw and the meaning behind it.

    Frannie
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  17. The purple dot straw 🙂

    Helen
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  18. Sustainable Coastlines (Hawaii) – The Turtle Straw is my favorite. I keep trying to convince myself I need it.

    Laura B.
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  19. I love the smoothie straw for my girls.

    Melissa Hendrix
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  20. Strawberry barely bent?

    Lisa Evans
    Oct 12, 2016 Reply
  21. It’s a tie between Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Frogs are Green straw. They are both just so dang cute!

    Nancy
    Oct 13, 2016 Reply
  22. Stardust barely bent, ? My kids love their straws they have, now my siblings all want one, lol!! ?

    Karen
    Oct 13, 2016 Reply
    • Congrats, Karen! You’re the winner! We will email you your code! ~ Daedra

      Daedra Surowiec
      Oct 18, 2016 Reply
  23. My favorite is the Stardust Barely Bent Long Smoothie Straw.

    Diane
    Oct 13, 2016 Reply
  24. The Nebula!

    Jennifer R.
    Oct 13, 2016 Reply
  25. Gotta have a bent straw for drinking margaritas’ while sitting down…

    Kent Bullard
    Oct 16, 2016 Reply
  26. I like the Cosmic Dance smoothie straw.

    Susan Hunter
    Oct 16, 2016 Reply
  27. The Sea Turtle Conservancy! Loved it. Heck, all of your straws are awesome. My friends and family live getting them as gifts.

    Denise G
    Oct 16, 2016 Reply
  28. That darling sea turtle!

    Stacy
    Oct 16, 2016 Reply
  29. Facinating, I love learning how things are made!
    Oh, hard to choose but I think the Blue Shimmer Straw may be my favorite.

    MaryAnn
    Oct 16, 2016 Reply
  30. making. your straws is more work than i thought. and done by hand, too!
    thanks for this. i like all your straws and use one or more every day

    sharlya gold
    Oct 16, 2016 Reply
  31. I love all of your straws, designer and plain. I drink a lot of hot tea and had been using a plastic straw for years to help protect my teeth from getting tea stained. My niece pointed out to me that that was a health hazard, which made sense, so I searched on line for glass straws and happily found your site. Have been buying the short straws as well as many other styles for myself and for gifts and look forward to continuing to do so. Great product!

    Oct 17, 2016 Reply
  32. Funky Just for Kids Amethyst Barely Bent Straw — i love the amethyst. Thanks for a little glimpse of how they’re made!

    Mama Sky
    Oct 17, 2016 Reply
  33. Blue Shimmer! So pretty!

    Oct 17, 2016 Reply
  34. I love the frog straw ?

    Loma Vandemolegraaf
    Oct 18, 2016 Reply

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