Swedish Graal Technique of Glass Blowing

by Eileen Treasure, Fine Art Consultant

“Desert Vista III” by Jared Davis

 

In 1916, Swedish glass blowers created a new, higher level of achievement of glass blowing, known as the Swedish Graal Technique. Graal is Swedish for Grail–as in Holy Grail. This method requires two to four people working  in concert with molten glass as layers are carved, shaped, encased in clear glass and added to even more layers.

Jared and Nicole Davis, of Crawford, Colorado, recently created the “Desert Vista Series” for Gallery MAR.  Nicole explains the process this way:

“The Desert Vista” works are our newest designs. The “Desert Vista III” piece was done by using the Swedish Graal Technique which takes a minimum of four days. We blew what we call a blank which is a fairly solid post with many layers of colors which we strategically placed in a specific order.  Once the piece has cooled we sand-carved an image of a canyon through the multiple layers of colored glass.  We then reheated the piece to 1000 degrees and picked it back up on the blow pipe.

Next, we gathered layers of clear glass over the design and blew it into the bottom vase which we had blown prior.  It takes at least three of us to create the final step because two of us need to keep the outer vase on center and hot so that it doesn’t crack while Jared is heating and blowing the Swedish Graal into the right shape.  Once the Graal is ready, we knock the first vase off the pipe into the gloved hands of our assistant, and Jared brings his piece over and blows it into the other vase.

The end result is to create a piece which you can look through as you would through a canyon.  It has the outer and inner layers which give it a 3 dimensional effect.”

“Desert Vista II” was created first as a prototype for “Desert Vista III.”

 

Jared Davis studied glass blowing in Sweden for two years. He continues to be inspired by the vast beauty of western Colorado. See all of Jared’s newest pieces at Gallery MAR, open daily 10 am to 9 pm.

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