Waterford (June 10)

We got to Waterford in time to take a tour of the factory. We parked several blocks away and walked to the factory in a light drizzle. The weather had been so nice for so long that we just ignored the “Irish Sunshine”. Waterford had been through some hard times in the last few years and most of the glassmaking has been outsourced to Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Germany. The factory in the city does mostly special commissions.

We have been to several glass making establishments in the United States, but were amazed by the additional artistic work done by the artisans here. The etching, sculpting, cutting, and other skilled steps are just amazing.

Glassblowing as we have seen before.

Special commissions involve creating a wooden mold for the object. These molds can only be used three to five times before they are ruined by heat.

This glove was commissioned by the Boston Red Sox for the retirement of Mariano Rivera.

Before going to the cutter/etchers, every object is marked according to detailed specs. There is a potload of different kinds of cuts.

Attempts have been made to create colored crystal. They have been only marginally successful.

A punch bowl on special commission — no price listed.

Hard to see, but a gnome playing a piano. The detail is amazing, but the sound is not very good.

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