Glassblower – the artist who reigns supreme over the hot glass
A glassblower is a craftsman who makes a variety of household items and decor by blowing them out of glass using a special hollow tube. Representatives of this profession are strong people with extraordinary creativity and great patience. After all, a glassblower is an artist who works with incandescent material in very difficult conditions. And creates unique works of art.
A glassblower is a magician, in whose hands a hot amorphous mass turns into a wonderful masterpiece. A Christmas tree decoration, an original figurine, an exquisite jug, a beautiful glass or even a whole set of dishes. And for the masterpieces created by the master, many buyers are ready to pay a lot of money.
Features of the glassblower profession
A glassblower usually works in an equipped workshop, where, in addition to a set of necessary tools, there is a special furnace with three chambers for different technological operations: For glass melting. For periodic heating of the workpiece in the process of working with it. For slow cooling of the finished item.
A piece of molten glass mass, the temperature of which reaches +1090 ° C, is taken out of the furnace with the tip of a tube and begins the processing process. To do this, he performs various operations with the workpiece:
- rolls it over a flat surface;
- blows glass out of it through a tube;
- puts her in a special vice;
- forms individual parts with tweezers or pliers.
There are also glass blowers who work on a different principle. They are also called lampworkers (from the English words lamp – “lamp, burner” and work – “work”). These craftsmen make small objects by heating a glass mass over a burner flame connected to a natural gas cylinder. Lampworkers use miniature instruments, many of which work in front of spectators in public places.
History of glassblowing craft
The history of the glassblowing profession goes back about 2000 years, although mankind discovered glass much earlier. Back in Ancient Egypt in the 6th millennium BC, people learned to create glass vessels, decorations and plates by melting silica in furnaces. Even then, the craftsmen noticed that the color of the glass can be changed by adding various minerals to it. Most often, glass was used in the production of mosaics, and the technology was kept in the strictest confidence.
Only in the 1st century AD, the first glass-blowing pipe was invented on the territory of modern Syria. Which underwent minimal changes over the next 20 centuries. The innovation quickly spread throughout the Roman Empire, glassblowing workshops appeared in different parts of it.
But with the fall of Rome in the 5th century, the glass-blowing craft quickly fell into decay, and the knowledge of the ancient masters was lost. Its rebirth took place five centuries later thanks to the efforts of a small group of artists who settled on several islands in the Venetian lagoon. The production of the famous Murano glass began here. And local glass blowers quickly earned the fame of the best masters of Europe.
A little later, in the XIII century, another world famous center of art glass began to form, which is still located in Bohemia. (On the territory of modern Czech Republic). Since the 17th century. Bohemian glass has gained immense popularity and has become the main reason for the decline in production in Venice.
The explosive growth of industry at the end of the 19th century had a huge impact on glass production. At the same time, the first industrial lines for the production of household glassware (bottles, glasses, decanters) began to appear. But the demand for true glass art has always remained high. Therefore, glass manufactories have been created in many European countries over the past 200 years, which are still successfully operating today.
The most famous glass blowing manufactories
Among the huge variety of art glass products, the products of the most famous glass-blowing centers and manufactories stand out today:
- Moser is the world”s most respected and sought-after brand of Bohemian glass. The head office of the company is located in the city of Karlovy Vary, and its history goes back over 150 years.
- Galle is a now defunct company created by French artist Emil Gallé. The masterpieces created under this brand in the Art Nouveau style can only be bought for a lot of money today.
- Daum is a French company from the city of Nancy, which has successfully outlived competitors from Galle. The company still uses the unique ancient Egyptian glass casting method, recreated in 1906, to create unique pieces of art.
- Baccarat is a French trade mark that gained wide recognition in the world back in the middle of the 19th century for its beautiful crystal products inlaid with precious metals.
- Lalique is a famous French brand created by the genius jeweler and artist René Lalique. The recipe for the unique glass for the production of vases and sculptures by Lalique has been kept in the strictest confidence for almost 100 years.