The Backstory Over the years we’ve handled some incredible vintage glass lighting. From decorative Holophane pendants salvaged from Victorian churches to industrial explosion-proof beasts rescued from factories in Eastern Europe. Along the way we’ve developed a particular penchant for hand-blown glass. And so over recent years we’ve been building a range of hand blown lights, all based on obsolete historical classics. The Foundry Our glass is produced in an old school foundry where generations of blowers have plied their trade, progressing from apprentices to skilled craftsmen. The foundry was on the brink of closure when we started manufacturing a few years back and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of its rebirth. New furnaces have now been fired up and production is expanding. It’s heartening to see a growing appreciation and demand for quality production again. The the cost-driven wasteland of the previous few decades seems happily to be in decline. The Process There’s no short cuts. It comes down to years of trial, error and the cumulative experience that informs the sleight of hand required to execute the different and complex shapes required. It’s an impressive sight to see, each blowing a well choreographed dance centred around a fiery ball of 1200°C semi-molten glass. Molten glass needs to be blown freeform ‘off the ball’, the process in which layers are formed into the glass. Once the approximate shape is achieved the glass is than blown vertically into a cast-iron or wooden mould before being extracted at the perfect moment. After gradual cooling, during which the glass is destressed, the shades must pass rigorous quality testing. Only then can the approved pieces move on to final finishing and packing. The Result The result is something of a different order to the cost-driven machine moulded alternatives that saturate the lighting market. A hand-blown glass fitting brings an authenticity and quality of light that mass market alternatives simply can’t do. These lights enhance the feeling of an interior, they speak of honesty and integrity. See our full glass lighting range here. But is it sustainable? Running a foundry is a fairly carbon intensive business. Melting glass to 1440°C and keeping it there takes considerable energy. Our foundry has mitigated this to some extent by fitting heat exchangers on the furnaces, recycling and saving 20% of gas usage. They also use 20% recycled glass in the mix. A big consideration for us is that we are making quality lights to last generations. We are kicking back against the legacy culture of ubiquitous lower cost mediocre lighting that gets trashed once the current fashion has passed. Buy once and buy well. It’s a traditional motto that we stand by. And it well serves the current imperative to drastically reduce our carbon impact. Read more about our sustainability policy here.