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We have been designing glassware since around 1967, working with factories all over the world. Ken’s first job out of Pratt was designing handmade glassware with Nick Angelakos for Pitman Dreitzer on 1107 Broadway in NYC. Glass is a material that has been around for thousands of years, and some of the forming techniques haven’t changed much since then. The hand shop in the old main plant at Corning, when it was still operating, didn’t look much different than similar places must have looked in the middle ages.

We have designed glassware using every imaginable manufacturing method, and so, in terms of products, these start with the most primitive methods and go forward.

Hope worked with some factories in China, where they had a method they called “Keiko”. The bowl on the left was made by that method. Hope worked with another factory that could make cased glass, and developed these glassware shapes, cased on the outside with bright color and etched through the color layer.

Another machine method is pressing, which requires expensive molds. Here’s a pic of a pressed product made in a Corning plant that made lenses.  It was designed as microwave cookware, and believe it or not, it the mid 70s, almost nobody had microwave ovens, but they were common in Japan, and this design won awards in Japan and was part of a traveling exhibit there about industrial design.

We all know that in terms of stemware, the best shape according to wine connoisseurs is the “bowl”shape, where you can sniff the bouquet. People have been drinking wine for a long time and in the past they used other shapes.Here are some glasses we designed, totally handmade in  Romania, which are based on older models, some from Scandinavia, from the 18th century and before. We use these every day, and everyone has a shape, so the glasses don’t get mixed up.

If shape is confusing, here’s a set of beer mugs, also made by hand in Romania, with numbers etched in, like on pool balls. A set could have as many numbers as necessary.

To the left is a large serving bowl with a scissor-cut rim, which means that the hot glass was cut with scissors.  This gives the rim a quality that cannot be achieved by grinding and polishing

In terms of machine manufacturing, there are a number of methods: Machine-blown, which is the quintessential blowpipe method mechanized, which is what we did at the Corning Muskogee Oklahoma plant, where we made a lot of products.  The radius constraints are tough with this method, and the products are thin-walled. The Pyrex wine-carafe and Un-Candles were made by this method.

Centrifugal molding is a very simple process where a “gob” of glass is spun in a mold, and it forms a plate or bowl shape by centrifugal force.

This is pretty low tech and makes an uneven but pristine outer rim and a pristine inner surface. You want a texture on the surface This is part of a group of products called Two for the Table, and Hope worked with factories in Thailand.

Another area where we have done a lot of work is flatware. We did a number of designs for Tsubame Bussan, and more recently, Dansk.  Here are some design ideas:

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