As part of a day trip to the beautiful Apokoronos region of Chania be sure to call in at the eco friendly local glass blowing factory on the outskirts of Kokkino Horio (Red Village). Here you’ll see craftsmen using their expert skills to producing some amazing pieces of glassware that can also be purchased on the premises.
The glass factory was established in 1986 and with tools that haven’t changed much throughout the centuries, glass artists design unique items in individual shapes and colours. The methods of glass production came from Egypt and were well known in the Mediterranean around the 6th century. The invention of the glassmaker’s pipe was revolutionary and this simple but effective tool came from Babylon some 2oo years BC and was later used in Egypt and the Roman Empire.
Nobody knows the inventor or the exact date of the invention. Today the pipe consists of a long hollow metal tube, thick at one end and a mouthpiece at the other. By blowing into the mouthpiece the glass blower creates the scorching glass nugget on the other end. Even the old masters needed a lot of experience to give form and colour to the glass. It was well known that the addition of various metal oxides produces different colours. For example, cobalt gives a deep blue, copper a ruby red or green. A small change in the addition of the oxide achieves a change of the colour or shading from strong to light tones. Silver chloride was used for plating for the first time in the 13th century. The only schools in Europe for learning the skill of glass blowing are in Poland and Sweden.
Outside you will see piles and piles of green and brown bottles (mostly) that are waiting to be recycled.
Even if for some reason the blowers are not at work when you get there, it is still worth the visit even if just to admire the beautiful glassware – and perhaps even but a piece to take home!
Families should know
- Prices vary from just a few euros to a few hundred euros and you’ll find everything from small ornaments to beautiful vases and dishes, to extremely elaborate light fittings
- The originally designed glass lampshades can be seen in many of the traditional local tavernas, and pieces are exported worldwide
- Take great care not to break anything as you walk around the shop as space is limited in places
Kids will love
- Seeing the hot furnace as the glass blowers work
- Admiring the beautiful shapes and colours of the finished product
Parents will love
- Watching the skill of the craftsmen
- Choosing a piece to take home
- The authenticity of the factory
Best season to visit
Share on Social Media