Glass in the changing of times
Glass is omnipresent, not only in our days, and yet this was not always the case.
Ancient historical glasses
The glassblower of the ancient world had significantly more difficult conditions for the manufacturing of glass products. The only link between the ancient and the modern ways of production is the blowpipe. If glassmakers today are imitating the shape of ancient glass, they often do not produce such glasses according to Roman methods. On the other hand, our glass products, being uniquely handblown glasses, can never reproduce exactly an existing original object from Roman times – yet, their quality is above pure exact industrial replicas. They reproduce the style and the technique of Roman glass ware. The unique rhythm and flow of te glass during the process gets our glass as close as possible to the glasses of the Romans.
Material and conditions for Roman glasses
For the manufacturing of Roman glass we need above all high quality sand (silicon dioxide), a flux such as potash or soda, and a stabilizer (lime – the Romans often used lead to the detriment of their health). These are mixed and brought to a very high temperature. In addition to the raw materials such glass production requires a powerful furnace to produce the incredible temperatures. Once the raw materials are melted they developed a liquid glass mass from which the Roman glassworkers produced glass using a pipe. In an annexed cooling chamber the products slowly cooled down, a process that is imperative, as otherwise glass shatteres if brought down in temperatures too quickly.
Tools for Roman glasses
Archaeology provides very little tools that allow for the recreation of the ancient glassmaking. Many woodworking tools have disappeared into the ground over the millennia, while the glassmakers pipes are preserved only as fragments. Sometimes we found metal pliers among the rare artefacts. However, old drawings and illustrations allow us some insight into this profession. From these we learn, how to handle the technique for casting using a core made of clay. Through the intense heat, the clay core is crumbly after cooling and can be easily removed. Another method is free blowing, where without additional use of a form the glass is free-blown on the glass pipe.
Shaped Roman glass for stylish servings
Our Roman glass, available on The Roman Shop, are all handmade using an open fire of a glass furnace to assure a high quality of Roman glassware. Hence, one will find small bubbles, just as in the originals. All replicas can, of course, be used for consuming food or drinks from them.
All Roman glass replicas on these pages in the category Ceramics and Glass of The Roman Shop are made in the traditional Roman manner, they are all hand made. The workshop that is producing these products for us have decades of experience. Today they produce all artifacts manually at their glass furnace which itself is a replica of those of Roman times. The glass replicas are all modeled on originals that can be found in various European museums.
Roman Cups with Ornate Painting
Like our glasses, all Roman cups are crafted according to originals. By hand, the scene is painted on the preheated glass, then heated in the glass furnace. You will find fish, birds, a hunting scene or a hand, decorated with ships. All our Roman cups are unique pieces – so the images are only samples! Because of the heating process, the color is firmly burned into the glass, so that the glass can later be used and cleaned without loosing its colours. Not even with a finger nail will you be able to remove the decoration applied in manual work to these items.
Roman cups of the kind that we reproduce are very rare, and were mostly found in the Northern Roman provinces. Make the ornate fish or ships accompany your drink from the ancient chalice and endulge in those ancient times.
Roman Barrel Bottle and Wine Glass with Antique Pane
On the same pages in the category of ceramics and glass of The Roman Shop you will find various blown glasses, which are modeled on a wine barrel. We are sure that you will be as delighted as we were, when we discovered these uniquely shaped glasses. Look, for example at the pane edge of a very rare original piece from the 2nd century AD. As with the other replicas, they are hand made – for example, the bubbles that appear in the glass are due to the burning of it in the furnace exactly according to the process that the glass had undergone in Roman times.
Elegant Roman Glass Goblet
Any dining and drinking experience is enhanced by our elegant Roman bowl due to its stylish shape. Because of the delicate bi-color appliance of small glassfibers to the glass goblet, you have a grip to it, even if it is wet. We use Mediterranean colours of blue and white for it which represents the original colouring. The original dates back to around 200 A.D. from Tuna, Badelunda (Sweden). Like our other glasses, each item is unique.
Glass replicas of museum quality
Our workshop looks back at decades of experience in producing high quality Roman glasses. For most of these glasses, The Roman Shop is the exclusive distributor.