The Spirit of the New Year.
The Lauscha robin made of glass is blown in a two-part negative ceramic mould, artfully painted in shades of red and brown and finished off with a real chicken feather. The little robin rocks back and forth on a metal coil.
Pure Form. Serially Produced Handicraft Christmas Tree Decoration.
The Lauscha glass blowers or lampworkers originally considered the blown glass decorative figures a matter of pure form, because they owe their unique form to the process in which they are shaped with the help of the hot flame of an alcohol lamp into a two-part negative mould. The lamp today is a gas burner whose flame keeps the glass viscous and malleable. The moulds used today are the same as those used 100 or 150 years ago. Most are made of ceramic and must be handled carefully, because in order to preserve them they can't be overheated and must be cooled off at regular intervals. No more than 150 figures or ornaments can be blown in one batch. Solely the raw material used today is different from former times: instead of glass tubes drawn especially for this purpose, pre-fabricated bulbs made of colourless lime-sodium carbonate glass are used.
An Entire Flock of Birds.
Traditionally, animal figures and especially birds as allegorical figures with human characteristics have found their place in the Christmas tree. According to lore, there should be a symbol-laden encounter between a male and a female bird in the tree. However, we suppose it has very tangible reasons that the lampworkers are so fond of birds: The compact body of a bird is a good candidate for blowing in a mould. On one side of the glass bulb a delicate bird beak can be pulled drawn, and on the other side, the tail feathers can be attached. These used to be made from cut glass fibre, but in the 21st century, the craftsmen began to use real bird feathers.
Pure Matter of Form. Christmas tree ornaments between craftsmanship and mass production
The Lauscha glassblowers used to call the figurative glass ornaments, which were blown into two-part negative molds "before the lamp". Today, as then, the lamp is the gas burner, whose flame keeps the glass viscous and malleable. And the molds that are used are also the same as 100 or 150 years ago. They are usually made of ceramic and must be handled with care, because in order to preserve them - and not overheat them in use - the molds must be gently cooled down again at regular intervals. Thus, no more than 150 figures or ornaments can be blown in one go. Only the starting material is different than in the past, because instead of glass tubes drawn specifically for this purpose are now used prefabricated flasks of colorless soda-lime glass.
And the whole flock of birds
Animal figures and especially birds as allegories of human characteristics traditionally found their place on the Christmas tree. According to the narrative, it should be symbolically at least one male and one female bird that meet. Quite handily, however, the compact bird body is simply very well suited to being blown into molds. To one side of the glass bulb, the fine bird's beak can then be freely extended, and to the other, the tail feather can be attached. This almost always consisted of cut glass silk, only in the 20th century real bird feathers became fashionable.
Article Number 15232
Length 15 cm, width 3 cm, height 3.5 cm. Weight 7 g.
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