The essence of the Soft Cylinders is really at the point of the 'pick-up'. First, a very detailed glass drawing—we call it a shard—is prepared before the blowing starts. Then the glass shard is carefully placed on a hotplate with hundreds of glass threads all around the drawing. About halfway into the blowing process, right after the last gather of glass has been dipped from the furnace, the gaffer comes down on it with the glass and it fuses to the surface. This is the most exciting moment of making the Soft Cylinder. The shard may crack at this point and the glass threads go flying everywhere.
—Chihuly