Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha

Shiny glass baubles used to decorate Christmas trees in the holiday season originated in the German village of Lauscha, a center of glass-making since the 16th century. In the 19th century Laushca’s glass centers invented the first glass Christmas tree ornaments which became popular exports, particularly so when in 1846 glass ornaments were used to decorate Queen Victoria’s Christmas tree. In addition to baubles, silver tinsel also originated from the same German region. Original glass tree ornaments were blown in the shape of nuts and fruits, and featured lead or mercury inside to give a silvery look.

Christmas trees have a long history of bearing decorations, far preceding the invention of glass baubles. Original decorations were offerings to appease mythological gods and adapted to Christian religious symbolism in the 8th century. The earliest trees would be adorned with apples and flowers, and then this progressed to religious symbols such as stars, candles, wreaths and shepherd’s canes. With the advent of glass baubles as ornaments the symbolism continued in a more decorative form.

Today glass Christmas tree ornaments are still manufactured in Lauscha and the Krebs Glas Laushca factory outlet is open to visitors who can experience a tour with a glass ornament blower and a glass painter demonstrating original techniques. Over five thousand glass ornaments are displayed in the factory outlet. If a trip to Germany isn’t planned glass Christmas tree ornaments can be purchased from the Krebs Glas online store. Their vast range of decorated baubles includes red Christmas balls decorated with white snowflakes, snow white balls decorated with penguins, translucent gold balls with metallic starbursts, silver pearl balls with holly leaves, and emerald green balls decorated with reindeers.
Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
Hand blown glass baubles from Lauscha are treasured pieces to be carefully stored in tissue paper when the tree comes down and passed down as precious family heirlooms.

In addition to glass baubles to hang from the Christmas tree Krebs Glas also produces beautiful seasonal glass figurines and practical ornaments to add to the festive vibe.

There are place card holders modelled on Christmas tree baubles
Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
and a glass chef holding a blackboard. There are wonderful Christmas tree ornamental glass toppers to provide a focal feature, such as this old fashioned gold double ball tree topper.

Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
Christmas tree ornamental glass topper.

The hand pained detail on these Christmas ornaments is amazing. There is a Russian Santa dressed in red robes with glitter gold embellishments, holding exquisitely painted Christmas parcels
Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
and a wonderful mouthblown owl with meticulously hand painted eye details.
Glass Christmas Ornaments from Krebs Glass in Lauscha
The company also specializes in fairy tale collections epitomizing the heritage of the region. The glass ornaments make beautiful Christmas presents with new pieces added to a collection each year.

If you are tempted to visit Lauscha, the birthplace of the glass Christmas tree bauble, then make it a Christmas visit so you can enjoy the town’s Kuglemarkt Christmas market featuring glass baubles. A trip to the town’s Museum of Glass Art with its glass-blowing workshop demonstrating traditional techniques is another must see spot.

Artisan Glassware from the Venetian Island of Murano

For centuries skilled artisans have honed the delicate craft of creating the finest glassware in the Venetian island of Murano, giving Murano a distinguished reputation as the center of traditional glass-blowing techniques. Glassmaking in Venice dates back to the eighth century, but it was in the early years of the thirteenth century when it became the leading purveyor of fine glass in Europe.

In 1291 Venetian glass production was moved exclusively to the isle of Murano to protect its trademark. Craftsmen were prohibited from leaving the island to protect the secrets of their trade, but were richly recompensed by being rewarded with an elevated social status. The innovative techniques developed led to Murano glassmakers being lauded as the finest producers of luxury glassware and the island gained a virtual monopoly on fine glassware production. The island’s influence waned over the years, but it experienced a revival during the twentieth century as modern glass artists returned to traditional Murano techniques, restoring Murano’s reputation as the center of glassware excellence.

Transparent Cristallo Veneziano glass.

The discovery of transparent cristallo Veneziano glass originated in Murano, along with esteemed glassmaking techniques such as lattimo, murrino and filigree. Over the years Murano famously produced stunning chandeliers, reflective mirrors, wine glasses and goblets, and figurines. Today specialist Venetian glassware is so coveted for its beauty it inspires imitations, thus original pieces from Murano bear the certification ‘Vetro Artistico ® Murano,’ recognizable by its red and blue markings. Only glassware created on the Venetian isle is certified with the Murano trademark, to protect it from mass produced imitations.

Murano is still synonymous with fine glassware and visitors to Venice should take a water taxi to the isle of Murano to shop for genuine items and to visit a glass factory to admire the glassblowing techniques still practiced. The Murano Glass Museum, established in 1861 in the Palazzo Giustinian, showcases impressive display of glassware through the years. The regular addition of contemporary pieces ensures the collection continually expands. The museum also hosts regular exhibitions. Glass making demonstrations can be appreciated at the Mazzega factory, the Colleoni glass factory and the Rialto glass factory. The famous glass ateliers of FerroMerano, Berengo, Pino Signoretto, Salviato and Venini can be explored. In addition to its reputation as a glass making center of excellence Murano is also famous for engraving artisans who work on completed glass pieces. Shoppers for fine pieces will be enticed by an amazing array of glassware ranging from glass earring and pendants, through to glass vases, perfume bottles, candlesticks, sculptures and mirrors.

Glass wall celebrate Venice Glass Week.

Perhaps the best time for those appreciative of beautiful Murano glassware to visit the island is during the Venice Glass Week, an annual international festival celebrating the artistic creation of glass. The festival focuses on Murano glassware. Amidst events such as workshops, screenings and themed evenings, it features exhibitions of stunning glassware. During the inaugural Venice Glass Week there was a ‘Light-Blowing’ exhibition and a ‘Five Glass Blowing Techniques’ exhibit, alongside exhibitions showcasing the work of individual glass artisans. The festival draws attention to the unique specialism of Murano glass and the historical importance of the Murano renaissance.