If you are tired of winter and need a little Spring in your life, stop and check out our new display. “Birds for all Seasons”, made up of hand-blown glass ornaments, will be on display for the next month. Hans Greiner of the German town of Lauscha, invented the art of hand-blown colored glass beads. Over time, highly skilled artisans made clay molds and this gave way to the creation of glass ornaments. A glass tube was heated over a flame. The artisan than inserted the tube into a clay mold, blowing the heated glass which expanded in the mold. After the glass cooled, silver nitrate solution was swirled into the glass and allowed to dry. Ornaments were then hand painted, topped with a cap, and ready to hang on a tree. F.W. Woolworth discovered Lauscha’s ornaments in 1880 while visiting Germany and began importing them to the United States. How did the glass beads turn into bird ornaments?
The story goes…in autumn, just before the harsh winter months, skilled glassblowers would go out into the forest and carefully capture wild birds. They would be placed in a cage, located in the glassblowers workshop, and sheltered during the long cold winters. The sound of the gas lames prompted the birds to sing, while the glassblowers used the birds as models to create their hand-blown ornaments. Come Spring time, the birds were returned to their forest homes.
The “Birds for all Seasons” is on loan from Janet Burdick of Marquette. She inherited some vintage glass birds from her Mother, which grace the trees in her home, not only for Christmas but throughout the year. And for over 50 years she has received glass ornaments as gifts for all occasions from family and friends. Each ornament holds a special memory of the occasion celebrated and the person who gifted it to her. When looking at the display, see if you can find the white chicken feathers that have been dyed and used for tails. Or the golden sequin beaded bird with a white satin underbody that was made from a kit during the 1970’s. Come in and catch a breath of Spring the next time you are driving thru Kingston.