While our Sofa Mart accessory buyer Amy Foster was traveling the world, seeking the best quality and innovative designs for our stores, she was captivated by the original glass treasures of Qingdoa, and wanted to learn how they were made. She kept a journal chronicling her travels and time spent with the artisans of Northern China. We share her observations and photos with you here.
Date: Tuesday, September 17
The villages outside the coastal city of Qingdoa are teeming with artist! Enjoying the cooler temperature here in Northern China…such a contrast to other regions of the country. I’m told this climate is ideal for working with glass. Perhaps that’s why the glass here is often compared to that of Northern Europe countries such as Belgium, France, and Poland.
The process of glass blowing has changed very little throughout the ages. First, molten glass is pulled from the furnace on the end of a long pipe. Color is added at this stage. The artisans carefully use their breath to inflate the glass into the shape of the requested piece.
Date: Wednesday, September 18
Date: Thursday, September 19
Met with several of the skilled artisans behind our Titi and Cornelius Vase Collections. It takes many years of training as an apprentice before mouth blowing fine pieces such as these, 100% of our tropical fish or small animal will be pulled and shaped by hand. This results in a uniquely beautiful piece that captures light with a prismatic affect. Mosaic pieces such as our peacock hurricanes and dragonfly vases are pieces by hand over a glass form then grouted for stability.
Peacock Hurricane // Sofa Mart // Small, Medium, Large
Dragonfly Vase // Sofa Mart // Small, Large
Bud Vase // Oak Express // Clear, Green, Blue, Purple
Carly Lantern // Oak Express // Small, Large
Titi Vase // Sofa Mart // Small, Large
Tropical Glass Fish // Small, Medium, Large