The modern art of glass blowing today may use modernized equipment to create intricate designs and works of art, but the essence of this craft of manipulating glass is an ancient art. Glass blowing involves molding glass when it’s a red-hot liquid that requires stamina, dexterous hands, and a creative mind. Glass blowing can be physically draining and it takes a special craftsman with the right set of skills to create beautiful works of art.
Closely Guarded Secrets
The world almost missed out on blown glass chandeliers since throughout history glass blowing has been a closely guarded secret that’s highly coveted. It’s even been coveted and held sacred, the art of glass blowing handed down from craftsman to apprentice for over thousands of years. Glass blowers have even been held hostage for their knowledge, during the 1st Century in A.D. the Phoenician glassworkers were not allowed to travel. Thankfully, a few managed to escape and spread the knowledge of their art form that survived into present-day Belgium, Switzerland, and France. Venetian glassblowers who escaped the island of Murano were committing a crime which was punishable by death.
The glass is a unique and beautiful substance that can, in fact, occur naturally in nature, usually through lightning strikes, meteorite impacts, and lightning strikes. When this natural phenomenon occurs, it causes certain rocks to melt at super high temperatures that will cool quickly and start to solidify. This is how natural glass occurs one of them being obsidian that is of volcanic origin and another being obsidianite which has an extraterrestrial origin.
Celebrating Thousands of Years’ Worth of Craftmanship
Jumping forward into the modern day, the art of glass blowing has come a long way since the shipwrecked Phoenician sailors first discovered glass when they built their cooking fires on the beach. Today, blown glass chandeliers present a dazzling display that is dramatic and colorful in appearance. Features and museums across the country have had these chandeliers installed to delight their visitors, but that doesn’t mean they’re meant only for professional displays only.
Hand blown glass chandeliers can now be enjoyed in the comfort of one’s own home instead of being an item meant slowly for professional displays. Traditional glass blowing techniques are used for some of the chandeliers with many using materials like ash, silica sand, and lead. Incorporating these materials into the chandeliers can affect how they turn out since they change the color and consistency of the glass produced. Each chandelier that is made is unique and filled with possibilities since no two will ever be exactly alike if these materials are integrated into each chandelier.
How They’re Made
The making of hand blown glass chandeliers is an art few are privy too since it takes a steady hand and good stamina to create each piece. Molten crystals are gathered at the end of a blowpipe and the chandelier is slowly formed. Professionals will make a channel down the middle using an electrical wire and the molten glass will begin to take on a rope-like a form. The entire process is delicate and requires several experienced professionals to be working with one another to finish the end product. The crystal has to be stretched precisely so both ends can be snipped and the molten glass is placed into a press so the bottom can be designed.
Pliers will usually be applied at the end of this process to form the chandelier into its desired shape and to lengthen any ends as necessary. These handmade works of art will make an excellent conversational piece since each one carries with it thousands of years of craftsmanship and knowledge passed down from master to apprentice. Every part of each hand-blown glass chandelier is handmade and manually assembled, designed down to the last detail. Providing a unique conversational piece in the comfort of your own home or business.