Discover Benelux | Dutch Design | Made in the Netherlands
off the pipe, the glassblower has to continuously roll the pipe. “Every new object is always a challenge, as various colours and shapes can react differently than expected,” he says. Once in the right shape, the piece is slowly annealed and then moved to the factory’s ‘cool side’. Here, cutters cut and polish the crystal and engrave quality signatures into the base. This is also where personalised text or designs can be added. Schaaij: “We can engrave names or company logos, or even make a whole personalised object in the design or colours of your choice.”
A royal affair One of Royal Leerdam Crystal’s most prized collections are the ‘Oranjevaasjes’ or Orange Vases. This series began in 1927 when Dutch monarch Juliana turned
18. The factory made a limited edition of vases inspired by the then crown princess, and offered the first of the series to the royal family. “And have been doing this ever since; whenever something special happens in the Royal Family we make a new ‘Oranjevaasje’,” says Schaaij “There are about 15 in total now and they are very loved by art collectors.” The factory has long had a special relationship with the Dutch Royal Family. Aside from proudly bearing ‘Royal’ in its name, Royal Leerdam Crystal has also supplied the monarchs with several crystal tableware and gifts. In return, three generations of Dutch Queens have visited the factory over the years.
From concept to table centre piece For many of its projects, Royal Leerdam Crystal works together with renowned art-
ists and designers such as Marcel Wanders, Menno Jonker, Peter Bremers and Ans Markus. By pairing artists with a master glassblowers, the factory continues to produce new and innovative works that push the boundaries of the craft. Lopulalan, or one of the three other master glassblowers, can also create pieces upon request, including corporate gifts, art pieces or custom glass awards. “We can either work with an existing design or create something new in collaboration with a designer or artist,” concludes Schaaij. In the large Royal Leerdam Crystal shop, adjacent to the factory, and in the webshop all their stunning creations can be viewed and bought. Web: www.royalleerdamcrystal.nl Tel: 0031 0345 636545
Visit Royal Leerdam Crystal Guided tour - To witness the glassblowing process, you can join one of their daily guided tours: see the glassblowers at work and learn about both the ‘hot side’ and ‘cold side’ of crystal manufacturing. Glass tasting - Instead of a wine tasting, Royal Leerdam Crystal hosts ‘glass tasting’ sessions which can be combined with a factory tour. During the tasting, you will experience how glass shape, size and thickness influence the flavour of the wine. Engraving workshop - Learn how to engrave crystal glasses with one of the factory’s craftsmen. Once the technique is mastered, you can engrave your own glasses and take them home at the end of the workshop.
Issue 47 | November 2017 | 25
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.