In this month’s edition, we would like to take our readers on a fascinating trip to Mexico through the world of glass.
Glass blowing is a well-loved form of art in the country and Mexico has long been known for the mastery of the technique. In fact, the very first glass pieces produced in North America were produced in Mexico in 1535 by Spanish artisans in the state of Puebla.
What makes glass blowing so unique?
Firstly, the raw materials -sand, soda ash and limestone- are mixed to make a batch which is poured into a furnace at a temperature of 1500 °C. Molten glass has a similar texture to honey and once the mixture has this texture, it is ready to be carefully shaped while skilfully turning it on the end of a hollow pipe or by blowing air into the pipe; as it cools down it becomes solid glass.
The skilful artisans create intricate pieces that vary in shapes and sizes by moulding the molten glass using jacks – a pair of metal blades that look like tweezers- to shape the glass as it is rotated at the workbench and shears which are used to cut hot glass.
Mexico is well-known for its handblown glassware characterised by a blue band blown into the rim, as well as solid, colourful and swirly handmade pieces in different vibrant colours that brighten up any table décor. However, there are countless more incredible and varied pieces to discover by designers and each piece of Mexican handblown glassware is a unique creation. Currently at MIM, we recommend this handblown jug in green by Onora, its flower-shaped details add incredible texture and body to the beautiful luminous emerald colour of the glass.
In addition to hand blown glass, we offer a selection of borosilicate or heat-resistant glass pieces, which withstand the thermal shock wave of rapid heating or cooling.
To make borosilicate glass the raw material mixture includes, sand, sodium oxide, boric oxide and recycled glass. The mixture is fed into a furnace and chlorine gas is pumped into the molten glass to absorb impurities and carry them to the surface. Only the pure liquid is used when moulding borosilicate which makes it more resistant to different temperatures.
Our favourite pieces are the glasses shown below by talented designers &Jacob.
We think “funky and unique” is the best way to describe this set of cups!
If you are a coffee or tea lover who likes to drink it from an
eye-catching cup, this is perfect for you!