When you look at a hand-blown glass chandelier, you know that it is not like your typical lighting fixture. Hand-blown glass chandeliers are dramatic additions to any household, with each piece seemingly delicate in terms of both sight and touch. Decorating your living room or kitchen with these pieces will elevate the room’s aesthetic. However, they are more than just spectacular objects that feed your eyes.
Hand-blown glass chandeliers also have a rich history filled with amazing events and interesting facts. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about them:
Glassblowing Is An Ancient Art Form
Glassblowing has been practiced even before the birth of Christ. The earliest evidence of glassblowing was found in a 2nd millennium BC site in Chogha Zanbil, Iran. The man responsible for this discovery was the French archeologist, Roman Ghirshman, who found numerous glass bottles on the excavation site. Later, more evidence for glassblowing was found in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Fragments of glass tubes, glass rods, and tiny blown bottles were discovered in a mikvah (a ritual bath); these were dated from 37 to 4 BC.
Glassblowing also reached places like ancient Egypt and Greece. In a 3rd century AD Egyptian fragmentary poem, the technique of blowing glass was described. Meanwhile, Hellenistic perfume bottles were found in mainland Greece and the Greek islands of Samothrace and Corinth. These were dated to the 1st century A.D.
Murano Monopolized Quality Glassmaking For A Long Time
Glassmakers in Murano, Venice have been blowing glass since the 7th century. And their products are still one of the most well-known glassware brands to date. Their techniques of threading glass with strands of gold, making imitation gemstones out of glass, and creating crystalline glass used to be a secret. Hence, it was not surprising that they monopolized this high-end craft for centuries. Murano’s glassmakers led Europe for centuries, and were proficient in developing and refining their craft. Eventually, other countries began developing their own glassmaking techniques. These eventually ended Murano’s glassmaking monopoly.
There Are Hand-Blown Glass Chandeliers Inside The Bellagio And Encore In Las Vegas
The hand-blown glass chandeliers inside the Bellagio and Encore hotels are quite unique. The one at the Bellagio costs around $10 million and is comprised of 2,000 hand-blown blossoms. It can be found adjacent to the hotel’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
On the other hand, the Encore does not boast only one, but sixty-six custom-made chandeliers. Sixty-three are placed in the casino, while the other three are hanging near the main registration desk. Each chandelier was made in Murano, and it took the artisans almost two years to create the pieces. The fixtures’ stunning red color was achieved by incorporating 24-karat gold dust in the glass. This special color is called “rubino.”
Hand-Blown Glass Chandeliers Can Be Custom Made To Your Specifications
Though hand-blown glass chandeliers can be created to look like ordinary lighting fixtures, there is no limit as to how you want your piece to look. Glass is a flexible material when exposed to high heat. Hence, artisans can bend, spin, and shape it to their own will. Custom made hand-blown glass chandeliers are more than just lighting. They are pieces of fine art too! Just look at the Sunburst chandelier, which is made up of over 1,000 individual pieces of glass.
Hand-Blown Glass Can’t Be Made By A Machine
Even if commercially made glassware exists, the beauty of a hand-blown glass chandelier cannot be imitated by machines. The process of creating these chandeliers require precision and complete focus. And there is no machine that can do what the artisans do.
Artisans need years of practice before they can call themselves professional glassblowers. They work with high heat and a delicate material—one can only be manipulated for a short time before it hardens, melts, or breaks. Though this aspect does make hand-blown glass chandeliers expensive, the pieces are worth the price. After all, if you are looking for something that is luxurious and is made from an ancient art form, you bet it’s not going to be cheap.
The next time you are looking at a hand-blown glass chandelier, don’t just pass it by. Take a moment to appreciate its value and see how wonderful the piece is. Thousands of artisans pour their heart and soul into this craft; so it isn’t right to ignore all their hard work. Plus, by understanding the history and the process of making hand-blown glass chandeliers, you are helping this art form flourish for years to come.