Glassmaker's tools

AnonymousCirca 1840

Musée des arts et métiers

Musée des arts et métiers

The glassmaker’s tools have hardly changed since the advent of glassblowing in the Middle East in the 1st century BC. One of the only variables is the length of the blowpipe. With this long metal tube so emblematic of his or her art, the glassblower ‘gathers’ molten glass on the end of the blowpipe then blows a bubble and fashions it into a vase or bottle. Using pincers and scissors the glassmaker cuts the lump of incandescent glass, and then uses mallet, pliers and moulds to shape it. It takes two craftsmen to hot-assemble an object’s components, for example a drinking glass’s base, stem and cup, with an iron rod. Georges Bontemps, director of the Choisy-le-Roi glassworks, was a peerless craftsman who revived ancient techniques, such as medieval coloured glass and Venetian filigree. He also took a keen interest in the latest innovations and published a comprehensive treatise, The Glassmaker’s Guide, in 1868. His glassworks donated these tools to the Conservatoire in 1842.

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  • Title: Glassmaker's tools
  • Creator: Anonymous
  • Date: Circa 1840
  • Date Created: Circa 1840
  • Location: France
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Contributor: Author: Anne-Laure Carré. English translation: David Wharry
  • Inventory number: Hook, Inv. 02788-0001 ; Pliers, Inv. 02788-0004 ; Pliers, Inv. 02788-0003 ; Tweezers, Inv. 02788-0002, Shears, Inv. 02788-0005 ; Shears, Inv. 02788-0006
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Sylvain Pelly


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