The Magic Begins...
How Our Ornaments are Made

Inspiration

Landmark Creations ornaments are created differently. Joellen's ornaments start with a visceral passion about the places she has lived or has visited, and the craft of glass blowing. It might be the way a building is highlighted against a wintry sky, it could be the peel of a child's laughter as she reaches for a hot dog from the cart or, it could be the rush of air and sudden life of a hot air balloon lifting in a vineyard. These are the memories upon which Jo creates our art. This art, coupled with the physical properties of molten glass and its European art form, are what gives a Landmark Creations ornament a magic that differs from all others.

Design

Joellen's memory is drawn on paper, first as black and white rough, and then rendered into a 3-D design. The 3-D design is used by the sculptor to create a clay model of the design, much like a jeweler designer makes his piece of jewelry out of wax before it is cast.

Prepping the Glass

Once the model is perfected, a mold is created. The mold will shape the molten glass which is specifically chosen for the size and difficulty of the ornament shape. To start, the blower, who is usually trained by his father and his father before him, will gently roll the glass over an open flame to warm it. 

Shaping the Glass

Sealing one end, the blower will blow a small ball shape before closing the parts of the mold. Once the mold is closed, the blower continues to blow the glass so that the molten glass fills all the crevices of the mold.

Silvering

After it is blown, the shape is then cooled. At this point the shape may be silvered or not. Silvering is the process by which a clear drop of nitrate solution is inserted into the glass ornament. The ornament is then submerged into a tub of hot water and shaken so that the nitrate/water solution "paints" its interior. The heat of the bath makes the nitrate turn silver and it is this silver coating on the inside of the ornament that creates the incredible luminosity in the paint that is used on the exterior of the ornament.

Decorating

Regardless of being silvered or not, once the glass shape is cooled and dried, the next step is to decorate the ornament. It takes hours, in fact sometimes days, to decorate just one ornament depending on the complexity of the design detail. Once the design is created on paper, hours are spent deciding just on which color tones to use, which kinds of paints and effects (there are many!), and which, if any, glitters to be used! Sometimes the vision is clear, other times it may take Jo a week or more before she has a clear sense of that vision and can commit it to paper for the painter to follow!

Final Steps

After the painter has finished with the decoration, the ornament is turned upside down to dry thoroughly.  Once dry, the "neck" is cut off and our cap, loop and medallion are gently inserted into the ornament.

Shown is our Cable Car (circa 2000) during the various process of creation: a blown clear shape, then silvered, painted, and finally capped. Given all the steps to be taken during both the creative and the physical process of making an ornament, the development of just one ornament may take up to 9 months!
It's no wonder that Landmark Creations' ornaments are
The Most Beautiful Ornaments of the World!

Contact Us

  • #800.588.3844
  • E-mail Us
  • www.Landmark-Creations.com




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