I can never resist an opportunity to watch a craftsman applying his trade. So, I often visit the glass-blowing workshop in my town.
It was established in 1958 in an old military building and was the first in Norway to make Studio Glass.
The designer, Benny Motzfeldt, was the artistic director here in the 1970s and today, examples of her work are highly-prized and collected.
|Glass designed by Benny Motzfeldt|
Today, the workshop is owned and run by Kenyan born Abel Sawe.
You can feel the heat, as soon as you step inside. Not surprising, considering that the smelting furnace melts the raw product and maintains it at a temperature of 1390 degrees centigrade. This is where molten glass is gathered at one end of a blowpipe. At this stage, the glass has the consistency of very hot toffee.
Then, the design elements are incorporated. In this instance, it is in powder form which the glass takes-up when rolled.
Then, short puffs down the blowpipe inflate it into a small bubble which can be formed in a mould and/or rolled into shape. Time and again, however, it must be reheated in a second oven, to the left, as you see in this picture.
And so the glass is worked, re-heated and worked again.
Each piece is unique.
Finally, the finished glass is placed in a cooling oven where it takes six or seven hours to gradually reach room temperature.
Here, in the adjoining shop there is an ever-changing exhibit of beautiful glass.
Precious jewel coloured glass
Opaque and transparent
Something for flowers, cakes, salads and liquiours.
A perfect present to myself or someone I care about.