Exclusive glass vases and Christmas tree decorations that only exist in one or two samples, aside from high price, most often also have in common unique production technology that is mastered by representatives of a rare profession – glass-blower. The history of the craft has lasted for a couple of millennia with some old secrets of handmade production still kept under seal.
The fact, that molten sand turns into a ropy substance that, when cooled down, graduates into a completely different state, was first discovered by attentive Egyptians some five thousand years ago. Modern scientists during various excavations find old frescos depicting craftsmen skillfully blowing glass bubbles through a pipe. As to material proofs, separate elements testify to the existence of such production in ancient times of pharaohs: shatters of jars, vases, statuettes and even bijouterie. Small green bead that allegedly served as an adornment for a noble Egyptian was found near Thebes – ancient city situated on the east side of Nile – and then sent to Berlin museum for exhibition.Photo curious-london.co.uk
From the country of the pyramids glass blowing craft started its progress through all the continents developing and improving sweepingly to reach the peak of perfection in Europe where maestros keep creating true masterpieces till now. In Italy traditions are treated with special reverence. First glass plants were launched in the city on water – in Venice. Having won popularity among citizens thank to their craft, local “skillful hands” became celebrities of the place. Not only native Italians but also many visitants longed to make it to their flock.
Willing to keep the secret of the Venetian glass recipe, in 13th century authorities of the county allocated the craftsmen a certain place to work and live and compulsorily deported them to the nearest isle of Murano. It was forbidden as strictly as Lent to leave it at will. Those who disobey were likely to get supreme penalty. But at the same time “classified” profession was so prestigious that the richest families sought their daughters in marriage to the experts…Photo savingdessert.com
Workshops where items for European noblemen were created are still in operation in the area. Among Italian seigniors an adornment or a set of glasses made of Murano Glass is considered a symbol of an excellent taste and good investment. Today old stuff like ordinary earrings or kitchen utensils became true museum pieces. And although the way to the isle and back is open for every willing one, glass makers prefer not to unveil all the secrets of production technology. Sure enough, a couple of schools operate here where basics of the profession are being taught but still only locals are accepted as students. The exception was probably made for Ritsue Mishima, originally Japanese but a citizen of Italy. Former stylist became one of the few ladies who distinguished herself in this male craft. It all started commonly and in a “feminine” way: Ritsue couldn’t pick a vase that would suit her house. As the saying goes, if you want a thing well done, do it yourself. And that’s the idea which she followed and started cooperating with Murano artisans. Photo meggygrace.tumblr.com
Craftsmen in Czech Republic keep working as diligently; there a glass item was recently created to get the honor of being added to Guinness World Records. It was a giant bottle of whiskey almost two-meter high that easily holds 228 liters of the drink. The majority of Czech handyman is “concentrated” in a town of Nový Bor situated in the North of the country nearby German border. Among population of a little more than ten thousand persons, one third is glass blowers. Strewn wooden shapes and spiraling-up smoke are common place here. In many yards behind picturesque trees and flowers domestic mini-factories are hidden. As a rule, glassmaker’s business hours start at dawn and last till 2 to 3 p.m. Modern technologies in combination with centuries-old secrets rise demand for local craftsmen’s masterpieces, who, unlike Murano ones, willingly invite tourists to watch metamorphoses that occur to simple sand. Those, who become especially swept with the performance, can enroll for a special course and master the art by themselves.Photo curious-london.co.uk
Speaking of glass blowing in European countries, it is worth mentioning German traditions that take shape of Christmas tree decorations production to a greater extent. First “blowing” factory emerged in Germany in 1848. In that time due to poor apple harvest aesthetic side of the holiday became endangered. Craftsmen who decided to create glass analogues of fruit came to the rescue. The experience turned out a success and German Christmas trees got ornamented with first Christmas spheres.
In a local history museum in every country you visit, you will certainly notice similar archaeological finds - fragments of clay products. Pottery, born millennia ago, but “living” even today, can rightfully be considered one of the most tenacious one. The uniqueness of clay was noticed by our distant ancestors who lived in caves ...
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life.
Bali is one of the most popular places to spend winter. Ocean, volcanoes, amazing nature and exotic fruits... But there is also one more reason that not many people know of, yet it definitely deserves attention: Kamasan, a unique art village where namesake Balinese picture art was conceived – as ancient as the island itself. We are going to tell about it today on the pages of the OUTLOOK.
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
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A borderline between the shadow and the light is just as contrasting as the one between the dream and the reality. Therefore artists use both things in pursuit of balance on a painting. Landscapes, portraits and still-life… nothing ever goes without the clash of the opposites. However there are particularly crafty artisans who do not need light at all.
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips. The word kabuki is sometimes translated as "the art of singing and dancing". Why not an operetta? The essence of performance is not confined to musical presentation only...
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Flowers and trees, animals and birds, dragons and fairytale characters – to put it short, anything that may come to your head can turn into an object of edible art there. Amazing technique of painting with hot sugar is possessed by craftsmen from Sichuan province. Paintings performed in almost caramel can be neither “edited”, nor painted over.
Twelve-string guitar, the twilight of Portuguese nights, candles, and soul-gripping voice… Dramatic incentives of fado song tell about unrequited love. It cannot appear in the crossroads of destinies; however, it enables feelings to embody into the touching sounds of Portuguese romances.
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple.
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And since winged horses of Valkyries darted away to Valhalla forever, Dalecarlian horse has remained the guardian of Vikings’ traditions – painted folk toy, first mentioned in chronicles of 17th century. Dalecarlian horse serves as an amulet of non-touristic Sweden by saving from oblivion ancient fables and beliefs.
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The Japanese are one of those peoples who zealously respect the ancient traditions. They respect old age, being interested in ancestors and often know the family ancestry by heart. With such a worldview, it is not surprising that a unique technique for the restoration of kintsugi appeared exactly there. Read about it in OUTLOOK.
What most people know about flamenco, is that this dance is manifestation of neither love and affection, nor entertainment and revelry fun. Fiery expressive flamenco is reflection of suffering and pain of an individual within nation, always persecuted and deprived of home. The dance itself, which has become a global symbol of Spain, is not only its national heritage...