Closeup of distorting the glass
This piece of glass, if colored, could be a standalone flower, but is also the starting point for making the interesting part inside a paperweight. This practice piece was just laid aside in the waste bucket. A few minutes later, it more or less exploded due to the relatively sudden cooling - you get use to that noise. Real pieces, when finished, need to be moved very quickly (seconds) into the annealing kiln, where they will slowly cool overnight from 500 deg C.