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Glassblowing in Technicolor

Jul 19, 2013

by Jeremiah Glazer

Bert Haanstra’s brilliant 1958 short documentary “Glas” playfully reveals the process of glassmaking, specifically blow molding and automated glassmaking. Deftly melding film and music, Haanstra portrays the skill, grace, and focus of the glassblowers, contrasting it with the mechanical, repetitive, and automated reality of modern industry – all with a nod and a wink.

If you’ve never had the chance to watch glassblowing in person, I highly recommend looking for a studio in your area. The process is absolutely mesmerizing – and even better than it is in Technicolor.

Browse Glass on Etsy

Hand Blown Art Glass Bowl - LARGE - Sunset - Saffron Yellow with Royal Cobalt Blue and Aqua Blue- Freeform - Bright
Hand Blown Art Glass Bowl - LARGE - Sunset - Saffron Yellow with Royal Cobalt Blue and Aqua Blue- Freeform - Bright
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Hand Blown Art Glass Bowl - LARGE - Scarlet Red -Feather Pattern - Freeform - Fluted - Dark Red - Blood Red - Oxblood - Freeform - Wavy
Hand Blown Art Glass Bowl - LARGE - Scarlet Red -Feather Pattern - Freeform - Fluted - Dark Red - Blood Red - Oxblood - Freeform - Wavy
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108 comments

  • admspeicher

    Adam Speicher from SpeicherBowTieCo said 6 years ago

    Neato!

  • JulieMeyer

    Julie Meyer from JulieMeyer said 6 years ago

    It's like a fantastic study in film and sound editing. Lovely glass blowing too.

  • bookBW

    Benjamin Wieler from bookBW said 6 years ago

    OK... that was an A W E S O M E process film. Thoroughly enjoyable & the guys look stylish too! Glass blowing in a lab coat with shirt & tie.

  • jessgreenleaf

    Jess Greenleaf from GREENLEAFblueberry said 6 years ago

    Glass is a medium that is so bewitching and so beautiful.

  • PinesVintageClothing

    Pine from GoodOldVintageOnline said 6 years ago

    Fantastic video. These men have as much or more character as the glass pieces they create. The precision and grace of their work is astounding. Watching it all come together like this gives me a whole new respect and admiration for hand-blown glass. Truly an amazing art form!

  • VelvetRevived

    VelvetRevived from VelvetRevived said 6 years ago

    A very fun film to watch! My niece makes blown glass items here in her Etsy shop! I'm sending her the link to watch!

  • LynnyA

    Lynn Heigh from VineAndBranchStudio said 6 years ago

    Love it!!

  • fbstudiovt

    Laura Hale from FoundBeautyStudioArt said 6 years ago

    Mesmerizing! Beautifully crafted little film, and a wonderful contrast of handmade versus manufactured. Lovely snapshot of the 50's too - I can't believe people were blowing glass in suits! Those rooms are hot as Hades.

  • BrianaEdelmanDesigns

    Briana from FoxburyAndCo said 6 years ago

    That was FANTASTIC!! They are true artisans. I'm loving the editing and the soundtrack....and that he's smoking a cigarette and blowing glass.

  • littlehouseofcolors

    Lauren O. from littlehouseofcolors said 6 years ago

    Sweet video! Glass-blowing is such an artistic gift. I've seen videos in the past of our current-day craftsman, Dale Chihuly, but seeing a video from the '50's is super-cool. The process never gets old...so intriguing!

  • branda

    branda Moreno from branda said 6 years ago

    Fascinating! Thank you very much for bringing us this video!!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 6 years ago

    Extra special!

  • senoritasofia

    s o p h i a from MadrinaSofia said 6 years ago

    Wonderful feature! I love watching glassblowing!

  • TessCreates

    Tess Wentz from TessCreates said 6 years ago

    Cool, daddy-o! Quintessentially 1950's...remarkable artists and delightful jazz soundtrack. The artists are great characters; even the fellows in the factory. The sang froid of the artists as they go about their work creating beautiful things is almost funny to watch...cigarettes dangling cherries...the pipe...lighting a cigarette with the bottom of a white-hot bottle...I love it!! The editing is perfect. Thanks for finding this little gem and sharing it with us! I've sent the link to some friends who'll enjoy it, too.

  • LetterKay

    Kayla from LetterKay said 6 years ago

    I got to watch glass blowing being done before and it is seriously amazing! So cool how something so beautiful can come from that process.

  • norcalartglass

    patience from norcalartglass said 6 years ago

    So cool! As a glass worker so inspiring!

  • sukran

    Sukran Kirtis from SukranKirtisJewelry said 6 years ago

    Fabulous, I am amazed..Thank you for sharing..

  • lisasia

    Lisa F from Cuorerosso said 6 years ago

    Fantastic!!!!

  • richdon1

    Rich and Dona from TheCottageMouse said 6 years ago

    Love this, the music included. There is a shop in Port Jeff here on Long Island NY where they blow the glass right in front of your eyes. It is amazing. Great post.

  • meltymelts

    Regina Greco from MeltyMelts said 6 years ago

    Awsome film. I just love watching glass being blown. It is such a beautiful art. I also love to buy blown glass pieces.

  • picklehead

    Karina Pryor from picklehead said 6 years ago

    So super cool. Smoking a pipe while blowing glass! This video was amazing, I love how it sometimes looked like they were playing the instruments. Really enjoyed this, thanks!!

  • Motleycouture

    Motleycouture from Motleycouture said 6 years ago

    I am in awe of their graceful hands. Simply fascinating! Hand blown glass is so different from manufactured glass. It is so fine. Love this feature! Thank you!

  • PaperAltar

    PaperAltar from PaperAltar said 6 years ago

    Truly Spectacular !

  • TwistedRayven

    TwistedRayven from TwistedRayCreations said 6 years ago

    Such a hypnotizing art form. Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful 10 minutes!

  • eirinihorianopoulou

    eirini horianopoulou kostas pappas from calypsoandmyrsini said 6 years ago

    amazing video...glass-blowing....just magic♥

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets said 6 years ago

    Glass blowing and candy... the two have always fascinated my mind, and are not entirely unrelated. Great film!

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 6 years ago

    If you live in the D.C. area, Lorton Workhouse has just started advertising glassblowing classes. We got to see the instructor in action last weekend. It was fascinating.

  • AdornmentsbyDebbie

    AdornmentsbyDebbie from AdornmentsbyDebbie said 6 years ago

    Nifty documentary--loved the jazz too!

  • ElizabethBarry21

    Tiffany Barry from InaPrettyHome said 6 years ago

    Very cool! I got to see some small glass blowing at a festival once, and I've always wanted a glimpse at a larger operation... especially after reading a Nora Roberts book about a glass artist!

  • usee1isee2

    David Navarro from GenReyGifts said 6 years ago

    I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..... Nah, I'll leave it up to those highly skilled fellows. Great short! Always amazed every time I see a glass blowing video. Just like the glass, my mind is always blown.

  • StudioCybele

    StudioCybele from StudioCybele said 6 years ago

    Fantastic!!!!

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 6 years ago

    How wonderful! Hope to see the younger folks keep this skill alive and growing! Thanks for sharing!

  • DarburyCottage

    Rosemary Wascher from DarburyCottage said 6 years ago

    Fantastic film ,I love the music that you put with it. These men are such true hard working artists. Thank's for sharing this I truly enjoyed watching it.

  • NikNakNook

    Susan M from NikNakNook said 6 years ago

    I particularly love the guy whose smoking a pipe - talk about multitasking.

  • piccadillypastimes

    Ginger and Tim from PiccadillyPastimes said 6 years ago

    Great video - amazing artistry!

  • NicolasKnitKnacks

    Nicola and Jessica Belton from CelticKnittingCo said 6 years ago

    Such an art, i'd say it takes years of experience to perfect but the beauty in the final piece is well worth it! Such a great article and video, I'm glad I stumbled upon it.

  • chocolatesuperhero

    Alex Benjamin from QueensPopPhoto said 6 years ago

    Lovin' This Video!! Thanks

  • nicoleleedesigns

    Nicole Lee from nicoleleedesigns said 6 years ago

    Very cool video!

  • joediamond111

    joediamond111 said 6 years ago

    Sweet!

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 6 years ago

    GEEEE! I LOVE hand blown glass. Magnificent!

  • FreshFromtheFlame

    FreshFromtheFlame from FreshFromtheFlame said 6 years ago

    Love glass blowing. I make glass beads "lampwork" and would love to learn the art of glass blowing. Working with glass puts you in another place. You really get lost in the flame. I love it.

  • iloveludwig

    Astrid R. from AnAstridEndeavor said 6 years ago

    This is fantastic! I strongly suggest trying to see glassblowing in person (or better yet- give it a try yourself!) Nothing beats to feel of the heat, the smell and the glittering of glass. Glassblowing is an amazing art form- I was just talking to someone today about getting back into the game! This video came at just the right time- it helped me to remember what it was like (minus the simultaneous pipe smoking!)

  • bgrkid64

    Arthur and Michelle Gonzalez from AMGCraftsandPhotos said 6 years ago

    Hand blowing is so amazing to watch.

  • efflorescentmetals

    Katie from efflorescentmetals said 6 years ago

    That was an awesome film and music blending!

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby said 6 years ago

    Glass blowing is so magical to watch - truly an art! Thanks for sharing.

  • NostalgiaBloom

    NostalgiaBloom from NostalgiaBloom said 6 years ago

    I have always loved all things glass. I was lucky enough to have seen glass blowers in action in there studio just down the road from where i used to live and frequent there often to watch. What a wonderful art form with amazing results. Thanks for sharing the video.

  • donnieleandro

    Donnie from DonniesDiscounts said 6 years ago

    kool and amazing

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage from WoodlandCottage said 6 years ago

    Loved the guy in coat, tie and hornrimmed glasses! Obviously, you could smoke on the job back then. Difficult to image the amount of sheer physical labor, the heat, the grimy work environment--very gritty, earthy, real--just to bring us these beautiful works of art. Thank you for sharing this piece!

  • lostarrowadornmentco

    Laura from lostarrowadornment said 6 years ago

    if there are lessons offered in your area do it, it's an awesome experience!

  • TheHourglassStudio

    Mary N. Carnahan from TheHourglassStudio said 6 years ago

    I was so lucky to be in the right place in Wisconsin when they had a group of glass blowers exhibiting that exciting art. It was amazing to see the hot molten glass formed into works of art.

  • ParisCabinet

    JD Kohler from ParisCabinet said 6 years ago

    That was amazing!!! I've seen glass blowing a few times, always fascinating but this is incredible, they are masters. Loved the shirt and tie under the lab coat, then I heard counting in Dutch! Being married to a Dutchman and having lived in Holland I recognized the counting and all the Dutch names in the credits. I'm not surprised there was great jazz music timed so perfectly with the movements, the Dutch love jazz. When we lived there we lived in Amersfoort, a medieval city that has a jazz festival every May. Thanks! Loved this gem of a documentary.

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 6 years ago

    I am fascinated by glass blowers. They are fellow fire pyromaniacs:>)

  • wolfartglass

    Carrie and Dean Wolf from wolfartglass said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this Jeremiah! Definitely one of my most favorite glassblowing films - it really captures the "feel" of hot glass and documents in a very cool way two sides of 50's era glass factories. Awesome!

  • untamedrose

    Breanna from untamedrose said 6 years ago

    Glass is the best medium...ever period. No Im not bias at all. :D

  • lowelowejewelry

    Lowe Jewelry from lowelowejewelry said 6 years ago

    Fantastic :)

  • Powerofflower

    Lorena Balea-Raitz from LorenasInkDesigns said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous!

  • catchaleaf

    eva andrews from catchaleaf said 6 years ago

    Brilliant video, very entertaining! Interesting that it shows only mail glass blowers – there are many women glass blowers too, although perhaps more in studios than in industry. I had a go at it as part of my glass course – it was physically one of the hardest things I have ever tried!

  • AstaRem

    Asta from CozyCappuccino said 6 years ago

    wow! these guys are real artists! and good simple idea to light up the cigarette from the hot bottle :) i even can imagine how hot is in this factory!

  • marmamamma

    Marmen Raquin from FrenchAtticFinds said 6 years ago

    thanks for sharing!!

  • matildecanepagonzale

    Matilde Cánepa González from matildecanepaArtnow said 6 years ago

    good! The video illustrates very well beauty of blown glass and industry automated work beautiful delicate hand made vrs the mechanical,repetitive of modern industy the music beautiful with the photografy,¡ pictures

  • PopOColor

    Katie Corrigan from PopOColor said 6 years ago

    Despite technology, glass blowing today is just like it was 60+ years ago. Expect they don't wear lab coats and ties or smoke pipes while blowing glass. I have watched glass blowing numerous times at Simon Pearce. It is so magical.

  • hmmills

    Helen Mills from 1820BagCo said 6 years ago

    Wow, what a great film, I love lampworking, but this is amazing....

  • messinabella

    messinabella from BandBEstate said 6 years ago

    Beautiful!

  • cosmiksouls

    joan kelly from cosmiksouls said 6 years ago

    AWESOME skill ... watched it in person a few times and am super impressed each and every time !!!! AH-mazing :)

  • FireIslandSoap

    Billy Bubbles from FireIslandSoap said 6 years ago

    this is the coolest thing ive ever seen, ever.

  • egd1964

    Elisa Garcia said 6 years ago

    Love it!! Thank you.

  • emberair

    emberair from EmberandAir said 6 years ago

    Wonderful video, totally enjoyed it! The relationship between the glass blower and the glass object they are making is intriguing. It was poetry in motion to watch them mold the glass into various forms. What art!

  • Fimigal

    Voneen Pryce from Woolby said 6 years ago

    Very nice. Thanks for sharing!

  • carolgasser

    Carol Gasser said 6 years ago

    Awesome!!! Thank you so much! I LOVE the weaving of music and picture!

  • DonnaRoberge

    Donna Roberge from DonnaRobergePhoto said 6 years ago

    What a great film, I love glass making although I've never done glassblowing. I did stained glass and lampworking for 8 years and I really miss it, seeing this film makes me miss it even more! Thank you for posting this, it makes you realize the hard work, dedication and skill that goes into this art.

  • jennstars9

    Jennifer from JenniferRPhotography said 6 years ago

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 6 years ago

    Love it!

  • tannerglass

    Suzanne Tanner from TannerGlass said 6 years ago

    As a glassblower, this is just so awesome to watch! I love the suit and tie look (not standard glassblowing attire)! If anyone is in the Providence RI area and wants to see it in person, contact me!

  • MitosisGlass

    MitosisGlass from MitosisGlass said 6 years ago

    Ahhh, there's nothing better than glass! Thank you for finding this.

  • TheHouseOfPurple

    Sonya B. from TheHouseOfPurple said 6 years ago

    Great documentary! Makes it hard to take vintage blown glass for granted. Thank-You! i have enjoyed watching it!

  • allmybeads

    Debbie Altman from allmybeads said 6 years ago

    It bears repeating, there is nothing like glass ! Fantastic documentary and the music makes it that much better. Loved it !

  • paulbead

    paulbead from paulbead said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It would be nice for us glass people if Etsy had more exposure on glass and glass makers.

  • GardenofYve

    Danielle Yve from GardenofYve said 6 years ago

    I love the man with the pipe! That's too funny.

  • EvyDaywear

    Evy Shankus from EvyDaywear said 6 years ago

    Great movie! That was so fun to watch. These gentlemen are true artists! Loved the captured "hand movements" with the instrumentals. Perfect.

  • crystalpeacestudio

    Gina M from crystalpeacestudio said 6 years ago

    This is one reason I fell in love with glass art and why glass is my chosen medium for art gifts. Art + Function = Love :)

  • CorindaGenevCeramics

    Corinda Genev from CorindaGenevCeramics said 6 years ago

    This is amazing, the one smoking the pipe at the same time is so funny. Thanks you for sharing.

  • bottlebloomers

    Leanne Stock from ArtePlastique said 6 years ago

    This is beautiful and looks so incredibly hard to do. I loved this video! Thank you so much. Leanne

  • agusha

    agusha from agusha said 6 years ago

    Great film shows the art of handmade! Thank you for sharing!

  • luciacobo

    Lucia Cobo from LuciaCobo said 6 years ago

    Anybody know where to find this music? i love it!

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry from pinksnakejewelry said 6 years ago

    Wonderful Film!!! Thanks for Sharing!!

  • customcrochetbyterri

    Terri Croswhite from customcrochetbyterri said 6 years ago

    So amazing, thank you for this fantastic film short and excellent depiction of the contrast between the art of handmade and machine made glass, the music was incredible too!

  • YearsAfter

    Sharon from YearsAfter said 6 years ago

    I always found glassblowing an amazing art!

  • nikhileshmehta

    nikhilesh mehta from ReachNirvana said 6 years ago

    Amazing.... I would nominate for Oscar short film...........

  • AlisaDesign

    Alisa from AlisaDesign said 6 years ago

    Fantastic video!

  • EmmaJosephineDesigns

    Emma Otu-Brown from EmmaJosephineDesigns said 6 years ago

    Great colors. Love the pencils!

  • VenetianMemories

    Venetian Memories from VenetianMemories said 6 years ago

    This is a wonderful art well known and loved by those who live in Venice. The island of Murano offers many opportunities to see these artisans in action. They are graceful, skilled and peaceful at the same time. There are other places in the world where glass masters work, but the atmosphere one experiences in the Venetian lagoon is unique and timeless.

  • jamasters

    Jess Masters from RefinedRock said 6 years ago

    That is amazing! I love seeing the way they have learned to work the glass with their hands-like a dance!

  • gertieloo88

    Mary from WoodenHeartButtons said 6 years ago

    I once had the privilege to witness glass blowers at work in Murano. They had been doing almost the same thing there for hundreds of years with very little change. It was with great admiration I watched them spin and blow, spin and blow and shape a one of a kind glass vessel or sculpture. A thing of beauty!

  • sugarloafsoap

    Lily D. from SoapBliss said 6 years ago

    Pure poetry! Thanks for sharing this gem of a doc :)

  • beadsr4u

    Beth A from beaderbeads said 6 years ago

    Love it! The music worked well with this interesting video. I'm saving for a kiln so I can start making glass beads. Yo daddy yo...

  • SPUNKbyCM

    CM from SPUNKbyCM said 6 years ago

    Wow, this is amazing. It is like a dance when they create the fluid shapes and forms.

  • jizbasusan

    Susan Jizba from TheWeaverOfWords said 6 years ago

    so much playful fun. I love how the music and images play with each other in a fascinating & entertaining tale to watch. Amazing!

  • plumcreek22

    Anne from plumcreek22 said 6 years ago

    LOVED this piece. It makes me appreciate my parent's 1950s glass even more!! Thanks for sharing.

  • coverupboutique1

    CoverUp Boutique from CoverUpBoutique said 6 years ago

    Such a beautiful and true artisans craft. Thanks so much!

  • MissHildebrandt

    Miss Hildebrandt from MissHildebrandt said 6 years ago

    What a lovely share! Thank you! Great Tuesday morning inspiration.

  • alehopful

    Joana Garganté from VATUA said 6 years ago

    Woow!! Fantastic documentary! how it's shown the value and beauty of hand artisan craft... amazing! Thank you!

  • NinaRaizel

    Nina from NinaRaizel said 6 years ago

    I really enjoyed watching that! So much precision, strength, and grace is required for work like this. Beautiful!

  • michele325

    Michele from MichelesAManoDesigns said 6 years ago

    Wonderful film!!! Was watching it myself and my six year old was intrigued by the music and came over. Needless to say, we both watched in awe... My mom would always speak of the glass blowers in Venice, so nice to have the image that she experienced as a child. Thank you!!!

  • SHM2013

    Silvia from MarinaBosettiDesigns said 6 years ago

    What an amazing skill!!!

  • emberair

    emberair from EmberandAir said 6 years ago

    Glass blowing has always fascinated me, I was so pleased to see a feature on it! And a wonderful feature it was ! Simply stunning and breathtaking!

  • dornerfamilyjewels

    Linda Dorner from ActuallyPAPERBeads said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful look at art glass. I've always been fascinated by glass and have seen a handful of glass blowers but have NEVER seen someone smoke a pipe or cigarette and blow glass or the fact that it often takes many pairs of hands to create one single piece of art glass. Amazing too was seeing factory glass blowers - I guess I never even considered the way bottles are made....a vague idea but seeing it done was great. Now, to see it from a 2013 perspective!?

  • KickassStyle

    BJ Novack from KickassStyle said 6 years ago

    When I was a kid there was a glassblower who had a stand at the Packard farmer's market. He'd make these phantasmagorical animals out of glass as we watched. Most parents used him as the babysitter while they went and shopped since they knew we'd just sit there totally enthralled watching him create his delicate and wonderful figurines. I'll never forget watching him. It was amazing.

  • korenkwan

    Koren Kwan from GarasuWonderland said 4 years ago

    beautiful artwork!

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