Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Early Finnish Glass Research

I've been researching glass in order to find something appropriate to trade to Helga, who has a Saami/Laplander persona. She said anything that was Finnish, 1500's or later would work. I couldn't find any mention of Finnish glass, and apparently the reason for this is that there wasn't any specifically Finnish glass that we are aware of before 1681. I found an article in the Journal of Glass Studies titled, "The Early Finnish Glass Industry," by Jacob Seela. Here is what he had to say about the earliest work there in a nutshell:

The first glasshouse was opened in 1681 by Gustaf Jung in Nystad (Uusikaupunki), a small town about forty miles north-west of the then capital, Abo (Turku). Four years later the glasshouse closed, and a devastating fire leveled the town the same year; the works never reopened. No glass was made in Finnland for the next seventy years.
-JoGS, vol XVI, pg 57

Well then. Apparently Jung had visited continental glass factories and worked at his father's glasshouse in Stockholm. His three Swedish blowers tried to imitate Venetian techniques. There were apparently glass objects in Finland before this due to trade, but they were rare imported goods. So, what would be most likely to be imported? I'm going to look into Swedish glass first. Otherwise I'll look at the big glass production areas in Europe. By the Renaissance the German glasshouses were starting to gain in popularity and they are certainly closer geographically. But Venetian glass had supremacy and cachet during the Renaissance, so perhaps doing something in a Venetian style would be most appropriate for an imported luxury good. I could go back into my book that has examples from the town records of Murano discussing the many places to which they exported glass...

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