As part of my tutoring session this week, me, Lucie and her partner went to Novy Bor. A city/town west of Usti nad Labem, famous for it’s reputation in Glass blowing. Needless to say, I was very excited about the trip.
Our first stop was at Ajeto in Lindava where we got to walk round the huge glass blowing factory and watch work being produced. The set up was incredible, I have never seen such an industrious and large glass blowing business. Within the factory there were four furnaces, each with four men working to produce beautiful glass pieces. It was very inspiring to see such a beautiful craft being pushed to it’s maximum potential in mass production.
The factory sight also hosted a museum and restaurant with a demonstration area which offered opportunities for visitors to have a go at glass blowing, which me and Lucie did. Although the actual activity was very brief, it got us talking to the work assistants who mentioned that a student from Manchester had been able to get work experiance there, learning to glassblow.
Important note- Because of this information, Lucie contacted the boss and I am currently in correspondence with him to discuss the opportunity of me also taking an intern-ship to practice glassblowing!
We also visited another glassblowing factory, which has been running for over 10 years. This factory set-up was equally impressive and once again, I was in awe at home efficent these glass blowers were: using such an organic craft and producing factory style pieces. Below you can see some pictures of the Vases and Urns the workmen were making.
This is a key picture, showing how the image above was created. Using blowing and the mould (some which date back to before the first World war) to produce replica forms.
The tour guide also offered me the opportunity to try glassblowing which I was more than happy to try. This time I was given more freedom and I was egged on by the workmen to blow the largest sphere I could. Turned out it was pretty big and even, that summer school in Wiltshire had clearly rubbed off on me. From the translations Lucie gave me, some of the men were rather impressed! Go me! lets hope it’s not the last time I blow glass because in all honesty, the job these men were doing wasn’t glamorous looking or had easy hours, but the craft that they practised and results of their work was so beautiful and inspiring to me, I would have happily taking a similar job.