The Harrach Project
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European Art glass -
Victorian, Art Nouveau and Contemporary
to ID Harrach Glass
Harrach Glass Factory Tour
Coming - Harrach
Museum - Severn Harrach
A Pictorial Visit to the
Harrach Glass Works
Photo's by Brian Severn
Current Day Harrach Glass Works
One thing you
have to love about glass is that not much has changed in the basic
formulations for glass. Most modern hand blown glass works don't
look a whole lot different then
glass works did 100 years ago, nor do the methods for actually making
hand made glass articles.
A glass maker today could go
to the glass furnaces of Thomas Webb & Sons and probably be ready
to go in just a few minutes, just as could one of Webb's workers in
Harrach's current facility (of course the Webb worker might be a little
bewildered by Abba blasting away on the boom-box, but that's a
The glory hole.
First we see the glass worker getting a gather of molten glass straight
glory hole of the glass furnace.
Next we see him using a handled wooden cup like tool, that's been
submersed in the
water tank to the right, to start shaping and cooling the molten glass
so it can be
Close-up of the wooden cupping tool.
Hey this rod is hot, let's cool it down a bit. There's a pipe
above the water as we can see here that sprinkles water over the
blowpipe to help keep the temperature down.
Next the glass is blown out a bit.
Next the blowpipe is rested on a Y shaped stand so the glass blower
can rotate the
glass as it's setting up.
The molten glass has been handed off to the second glass worker
who uses another wooden cupped
one to help shape the glass in preparation for the mold.
Here we see the glass being setup on wet newspaper while it's being
Now it's in the process of being placed into the mold.
The glass worker is blowing the glass out into shape.
Now the glass is removed from the mold, and a two way hand-off takes
place as this
piece is handed off to the next worker who will finish the shaping, and
a newly worked gather
is readied for the mold.
Here the glass is held above a tube that blows semi-cool air so that
the piece can start to cool down and hold it's shape. It's still
semi-pliable at this
point. We can see what is presumably the base of the article
being smoothed/flattened down.
Hey what's this, is it Miller time? Beer is a big part of Czech
culture, and to say they make great beer (the best in the world?) would
be like saying they make great glass :) Yes the Harrach
factory has it's own brewery on site, as well as a restaurant.
Several of the workers had glasses of beer sitting in their work
areas. The glass workers' beer is low alcohol (3.5%), so no need
to worry about any catastrophic accidents (or sloppy glass).
Here we see the glass being scored as it's readied to be cracked off
the blowpipe, and transferred to
the annealing oven.
The final handoff for the trip to the annealing oven.
The entire process of creating this glass article, from the glory
hole to the annealing oven, takes place in just over 90 seconds!