~heart of glass~

February 14th, 2014

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Many people think that we have some secret apparatus by which we can squeeze glass suddenly into these forms, but it is not so. We have tact.” —Leopold Blaschka

We made a Valentine’s day botany pilgrimage to see the Blaschka glass flowers at Harvard’s Natural History Museum. Leopold Blaschka (1822-1895) and his son Rudolf (1857-1939) made the lampwork collection–4,300 botanical models representing 840 species–based upon herbarium specimens and field drawings in their Dresden studio. The models, intended as teaching aids and commissioned by Harvard and the Ware family, were transported from Customs via hearse (see below).

Father and son worked as a team until Leopold’s death. The last unfinished works of Rudolph were (pointedly?) a collection of rotting fruit (see below). The Blaschkas took their technique, which integrated paint, enamel, proprietary glass and adhesive recipes—and tact—to their graves.

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