Czech crystal…the most luxurious, prestigious and exquisite glass in the world and I was fortunate enough to visit one of the finest crystal makers in the Czech Republic to see how they make their beautiful glass. When founder Ludwig Moser established a small workshop for high society clientele in 1857 he unwittingly built the foundations of an empire that would outlive him and become one of the most world-renowned names in luxury Bohemia glass.
Fast forward 161 years of history, tradition, experience, ever-growing skill and innovation, Moser has become a symbol of wealth and status, and is widely recognised for their craftsmanship, high quality and original designs ranging from champagne flutes to extravagant chandeliers, ornaments, vases and figurines all lead free and handmade, no laser cutting or machine manufactured glass exists in Moser productions. Their unique cuts, engravings, blown and painted decorative glassware are sought-after commodity attracting royalty, presidents, government officials and celebrities alike.
When I visited the showroom in Prague and stood marvelling at the works of art I had no idea of the mastery and time it took to create even just one of these pieces. I never thought glass could be so intricate, complicated and oh so beautiful. I mean just look at them!
What really caught my eye and curiosity were the engraved pieces, meticulously hand etched with the tiniest diamond tip engraving wheels by engravers with over 20 years of experience. Upon visiting the factory in Karlovy Vary I learnt just how much work went into these marvels. Each piece takes months to complete, passing through at least 25 pairs of skilful hands and eyes that are fine-tuned to spot any impurities in the glass or design ensuring the highest quality. Only the crème de la crème will make it to the showroom.
While I appreciate the level of detail and intricacy that goes into the traditional crystal works at moser – the most popular being the ’splendid’ collection which was gifted to Queen Elizabeth II for her wedding. I must say I was taken with the modern and contemporary designs by artists Jiří and Lukáš. Both artists use Moser’s famous colours to make the most aesthetically captivating pieces. When light hits these pieces the colours reflect and refract flooding the room with the colours of the glass.
At the factory, I had the pleasure of trying my hand at glass blowing. I’ll tell you it’s not as easy and it seems and was nothing like I thought it would be. Having been to the showroom and becoming familiar with the works, their weight and design, I thought the manufacturing process would be crude and robust but in fact I learnt it was just the opposite. I learnt it was extremely delicate work requiring millimetre precision extremely controlled breaths. Trying it for myself I gained a new-found appreciation for the art and what it requires to become a master blower.
There are no better craftsmen and artists than those at Moser. After seeing the love and talent that goes into these pieces I knew I had to purchase a set for myself and have such great history be part of my home as well. The glass of kings, kings of glass indeed.