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. 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 stemware glasses, 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 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 over to the blower.
4. The blower blows the cup into shape in a graphite mould.
5. The blowing iron is passed over to the master blower, who draws out and shapes the stem.
6. The master blower adds more glass and shapes the base of the glass by using a clapper.
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 smoothened and polished. Finally, the edge of the bowl is heated until it melts and is softly rounded.
10. When ready, the glass undergoes a final inspection and sorting. Then, as a guarantee of quality, the finished glass is marked with the Orrefors logotype: one is sand-blasted into the bottom of the glass, while a label is applied to the base.