As with any craft, to produce the most outstanding items, one must acquire the right tools and materials. There are many websites that one can order from. The following sites are in no particular order.
Wale Apparatus (http://www.waleapparatus.com/): This websites offers an amazing range of safety tools and other essential apparatus for glassblowing. They offer a clear and easy catalogue for users to browse in. During the month of May, they are also offering a discount.
Olympic Color Roads (http://www.glasscolor.com/default.aspx ): One of the best sites around. They offer everything you could need for producing the best glass-work. They offer a huge selection of tools and materials, low prices, fast shipping (within 48 hours of wordering) and excellent customer service. Their catalogue comes in two downloadable formats for the browser. According to their website, they also offer the largest inventory of glass colours in North America.
Steinert Industries Inc. (http://www.steinertindustries.com/): Another great website that caters to the glassblower. They produce high quality tools, including blowpipes, punty rods, gathering rods, vacuum plates, optic moulds, bead moulds, polishers, grinders etc. They offer two types of catalogues; either one you can download or a printed copy which they can send to your address. They also have a section on their website that gives you access to links to other glassblowing places. These include galleries, museums, studios and workshops, organizations, schools and publications all relating to glassblowing.
HUB (http://www.hubglass.com/index.html): This is another good website. The website has bold colours and is easily navigable. There are numerous subdivisions dedicated to specific tools, materials etc. They have a testimonial page where past customers have written their experiences with this company and upon reading these; it is evident that these people have nothing but good things to say about the company. The website has an equipment gallery (only a few photos) showing the machines at work. One of the best features of this company’s website is that it has a page dedicated to custom design and fabrication services. The company claims that it can help the browser develop, test, and refine processes to make the work you want, as well as offering rental time in their studio located in the beautiful Champlain Valley of Vermont.
There are many more websites that can offer the glassblower the relevant tools and materials they need. Whilst these websites are just a few of the many, many out there, these are some of the best.