How Keith Makes Your Cups

Heat is a applied with a torch while turning the cup

Keith Walker makes every "Keith's Cup" product. By hand. One by one by one.

The weather may range from tropical heat to arctic tundra outside, but in Keith's home glass studio, it's always toasty.

Every cup starts as a blob of molten glass in Keith's glass furnace. The furnace runs 24/7 at 2150 Fahrenheit.

The raw glass is gathered from the furnace with a blowpipe rod. Keith will then manipulate and reheat the glass in a chamber called the Glory Hole. This is where the magic happens.

In these early stages, colour is applied to the glass. Small shards of glass are laid out in various formations to form the patterns Keith is looking for depending on the collection he's working on. The cup still won't look like a cup at this stage, and even the colours will change with the heat ahead, but Keith knows just how those changes will happen. He's ready.

Keith places the cup inside the Glory Hole through various stages of formation, taking it out to inflate the hot glass by blowing into the other end of the blowpipe.

This blowing and heating continue until the cup starts to look like, well, a cup. All cups of a certain style will be similar, but they will also be beautifully different. Colours band and stripe in new ways.

Once the cup is formed, it is trimmed and cut from the pole with special shears and tools. It now must cool in a special glass kiln. This process is called annealing and allows the glass to cool slowly over a period of day.

All of this care, experience and attention goes into every cup Keith makes – into your cup.

This is why you can look at your Keith's Cup and know one thing for sure; there is no other like it in the world.

Molten glass on the rod.
Keith inserts glass into the Glory Hole.
Keith prepares the coloured glass.
Keith forms a cup.
Keith looks over a nearly finished cup.