Glassblowing

A UNIQUE CRAFT

The transformation of glass from a hot, syrupy mass to a piece of glittering crystal is a spectacular process that takes place in the Småland hot shops every day of the week.

Although glass has been made for well over a thousand years, the techniques used today remain almost identical to those used many centuries ago. To make the glasses for a dinner set, the glassblowers work in teams, or chairs, consisting of six or seven people, each possessing the requisite specialist skills.

1. The molten glass, or metal, is rst gathered on the blowing iron. It is essential to gather the right amount of metal – not too much, not too little, but just enough for the bowl and stem of the glass-to-be.

2. The glass is rolled on a marver.

 

3. The gatherer blows air into the metal and hands the iron to the blower.

4. The blower blows the cup into shape in a graphite mould.

5. The blowing iron is next passed to the master- blower, who draws out and shapes the stem.

6. The glass moves on to the deputy master blower, who adds more glass and, using a clapper, fashions the foot of the glass.

6. The glass moves on to the deputy master blower, who adds more glass and, using a clapper, fashions the foot of the glass.

7. The assistant knocks the glass off the blowpipe using a special holder known as a carry-in-fork. The glass is then fetched by a carrier, who places it in a lehr, where it is slowly cooled. After cooling, an initial quality assurance check is carried out by a sorter. If the glass is deemed to comply with Orrefors’ stringent quality standards, it is sent for further processing.

8. First the upper part of the bowl is cracked off.

9. Then the sharp edge is carefully ground and polished. Finally, the edge of the bowl is heated until it melts and is softly rounded.

10. When ready, the glass undergoes nal inspection and sorting. Finally, as a guarantee of quality, the nished glass is marked with the Orrefors shield: one is sand-blasted into the bottom of the glass, while a silver label is applied to the foot.