San Diego, CA
Christmas Holiday Decor - Mouth Blown And Hand Painted
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© Christine Till
Besides the tree itself, Germany's contributions to Christmas ornaments include blown glass balls and tinsel.
The Thuringia region (Thüringen) had been home to glassmaking as early as the 12th century. Christoph Müller and Hans Greiner set up Lauscha's first glassworks in 1597. Soon other Glashütten (glassworks) were established in this small German town. Lauscha's Glashütten eventually produced drinking glasses, flasks, glass bowls, glass beads (Glasperlen), and even glass eyes (1835). Nearby Jena would later become famous for its optical glass.
Lauscha became the hub of the glass ornament trade. Firms which had been making glass barometers, canes, ointment bottles, goblets, bulls-eye glass window panes, eyes for stuffed animals and brilliantly colored marbles discovered that they could diversify into making molded glass ornaments. Initially replicating fruits, nuts and other food items, they soon branched out and began to manufacture hearts, stars and other shapes that had been created out of cookies but now had the added dimension of a wide color palette enhanced by the luminosity of the glass itself. Soon the glass blowers of Lauscha were creating molds of children, saints, famous people, animals and other forms and discovered that there was no apparent end to the market for this new type of Christmas ornament.
July 19th, 2012
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