Legend has it that in 1858, nature grew greedy and a great drought deprived the Northern Vosges of fruits, leaving the Christmas trees sparse. An inspired glass blower in Goetzenbruck sought to compensate for this injustice by blowing a few glass balls. He single-handedly began a cultural tradition that spans the globe. And thus were born the Christmas tree decorations of Meisenthal.
Since 1999, a Christmas ornament design committee exists at the International Centre for Glass-making Arts. In addition to re-releasing traditional styles, every year, contemporary designs are added to the collection, created by designers invited to give their take on the tradition. The ornament making process is open to the public beginning in November.
The granddaughter of a glass-maker, designer Nathalie Nierengarten created Arti, the latest in Meisenthal’s contemporary Christmas bauble collection. Like a fruit of nature, Arti required several months to fully ripen, from sketching to blowing the glass. Nathalie wanted to get back to the basics with this tender-hearted vegetable that’s visual, colourful, sensual and dreamlike all at once. Its shape is borrowed from nature and has inspired a new story: one of the heart.
The magic of MeisenthalGlass is no longer seen as just a material, but as a medium for cultural expression. And the object exists through magic, the poetry that it instils in the person who designs it as well as in the person who buys it.
Yann Grienenberger, director of the CIAV
Glass is no longer seen as just a material, but as a medium for cultural expression. And the object exists through magic, the poetry that it instils in the person who designs it as well as in the person who buys it.