The art of moulding red-hot liquid glass to create a work of art requires speed, dexterous handiwork and a trained eye, and its hypnotising to watch.
Practised for thousands of years on Mallorca, it is thought that the Phoenicians first introduced it to the island in the 2nd century B.C. and it has continued to be produced by Romans, Moors and Catalans ever since and what makes Mallorca glass unique is the use of colours, particularly greens and blues.
Mallorca is home today to three traditional glass-blowing factories – Gordiola, Lafiore and Menestràlia.
Founded in 1965, Menestràlia in Campanet produces glasswork, lamps and decorative pieces. Watch the masters at work in its exhibition shop.
Lafiore located in Esporles allows you to blow your own glass and it can be taken home once it cools down a few days later. Lafiore creates domestic pieces lively colours using oxides.
But perhaps best known is Gordiola Glass Company established in 1719 is the oldest on the island. There is a shop in the heart of the old town in Palma and a workshop in Algaida.
Bernard Gordiola ( 1720-91 ) travelled to Venice, the glassmaking capital of the world at the time, to learn the techniques of the master glassmakers which he then brought back to Mallorca.
Visitors to the workshop in Algaida can watch master glassmakers as they work the red hot molten glass and then blow the tube to inflate and shape the glass. An art handed down from master to apprentice and takes many years to perfect.
Being handcrafted, no two items are the same. A piece of artisanal Mallorcan glassware makes a truly unique keepsake. There is a shop next to the workshop.
Feeling hungry after all that shopping? The stop for lunch or dinner at Restaurant Cal Dimoni just across from the workshop in Algaida. A real local treasure, their speciality is Arroz Brut or ‘dirty rice’. Delicious !
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