The history of Bohemian glass
Written records of the famous Czech glass date back to the 12th century. Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, defeating the rebellious Milan, plundered the city. In the records of the seized treasures there is a line — «utensils from Bohemia.» From here you can trace the path of the now world famous Czech glassware.
Stained glass windows and monks
The first masters who were engaged in the production of glass were monks, who in those distant times of the Middle Ages were the only scientists. They painted and made parts for the famous stained glass windows in churches. In Czech gutas (smelters), practically transparent glass was brewed, as well as colored glass, by adding oxides of various metals.
Parts for the famous stained glass windows in churches
In addition to stained glass windows, the monks made church glassware. Later, with the development of guild production, Bohemian artisans https://aleks-crystal.com/carafe/ united and built workshops. At the same time, the names of the settlements appeared — «Old Glazier» «Glassblowers». The range of products has expanded, the production of glasses with glued beads, bottles with necks from intertwined tubes for wine, pharmaceutical vessels, and jewelry has been adjusted.
Murano (Venetian) glass, whose technology was carefully guarded, was considered the best. Over time, some craftsmen from Venice moved to Europe, and gradually Bohemian artisans learned many of the secrets of the material. But Venetian glass was too soft and brittle, it was difficult to cut, therefore, after many tests, the composition of raw materials was improved in the Czech Republic, replacing soda with calcium carbonate obtained from wood ash. The products have become more durable, and the walls of the vessels are thicker. The material was cut with a corundum wheel with a diamond face. The composition had a greenish tint, therefore it was called «forest».
The emergence of bohemian crystal
Then the craftsmen began to add lead oxide, thanks to this, Bohemian glass received new properties — a special transparency, shine and radiance. The skill of glassblowers improved. They no longer imitated the arrogant Venetians, but began to compete with them. And when, in the seventeenth century, the master Müller succeeded in melting a transparent composition of extraordinary sparkling, purity and distinguished by colored overflows, the whole world started talking about «Bohemian glass».
At the end of the nineteenth century, glass manufactories switched to gas-fired smelting furnaces. This led to the fact that the production of products has become much more, and the cost price has decreased. And that Bohemian crystal that used to stand on the tables of kings and nobles began to appear among people of average income.
Czech craftsmen have always cherished their traditions. Until now, some operations are done only by hand — grinding, gilding, cutting. Tens of millions of products are created annually, which are instantly sold out all over the world. The use of old technologies, the latest design solutions and modern technology helps to achieve Czech glass from Bohemia — high quality, timeless beauty, amazing grace at very reasonable prices.
Making glassware from Bohemian glass is a complex process involving manual labor. The master glassblower draws some incandescent mass onto the pipe, distributes it evenly by turning the pipe in his hand. Then he blows out a rounded ball, which he transfers into a wooden wet blank, and blows out the preliminary shape in it. Then, after cooling down, the grinder continues to work. He processes the dishes, gives the final contours, makes the cut. Skilled carvers can make any compositions on glass.