Kisképző / Technical School of Glass

kiskepzo-1-274x181Just on time, excitement at the top. The furnace is working! Ventilator blades are energetically beating. Across the open windows, grouser furnace inviting. Masters and teachers gather, crossing the pipe network and security devices, while students of glass-working major are arriving in strict schedule.                                                                        .

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It is a frequent question: how many furnaces are active in Hungary? Apart from the ones at the Ajka Crystal plant, perhaps 4-5 furnaces of professional scale are working. One of them is here, at the School. Limited by the financial resources, it is heated up for a week – 10 days, two times per semesters. Smelting runs in full night, to produce the next day material.

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The task is mold-blowing. Molds are designed and produced by the students. Everybody is stained of oil and graphite. If plaster molds are smeared with the mix of oil and graphite, the glass will not stick to the mold, so it is reusable. But, it is smoking furiously, they work in pair, one needs to fan while blowing, meanwhile the mold must be kept strongly by the other, who then has to open it at the right time. The first piece is not perfect yet, but the experience will be unforgottable.

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Emi has covered the mold of his first jug with graphite. „That will be the evil, this one the goodness“, he shows, waiting hardly the minute when his turn arrives. A friendly glassmith will realise his works. The gaffer worked decades in Tokod. There were produced the famous Unicum bottles. After 112 glorious years the famous glass factory became bankrupt and closed in 2004.


This time James Carcass acts as the second blowmaster. Attention is steady. This is the event when the cream of the glass art masters are gathering. They devotedly help the enthusiastic students. They are bouncing questions to each others as well, answers arrived on the spot, what they tried to do and what they learned. The atmosphere is enviable. Real professional workshop.

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At lunchtime, the brave students attack the blowpipes. First, they get a blob on the end of the pipe, the next layer can be spooled when the blob cools down a little. The molten glass is ‘gathered’ on to the blowpipe in much the same way that honey is picked up on a dipper. And, it is free to try to blow a small air into the gather. Máté exploits every minutes. Sitting on the bench, he wraps in turning, forming and blowing the glass. He takes a liking to the glassblowing, and he surely has something in his mind.

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In every movement of Eszter we see the well-trained dance steps. Glassblowing surely needs a good sense of rhythm. The blob is moving erraneously, she tries to balance it with pleasure, paying attention to prof. Borkovics, who just dropped in with his lunchbag. She imagines her life around the furnace, because she enjoys it, the glass is marvellous, and there is a lot of creativity.

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24 hours more, and the objects can be removed from the kiln. Some will be perfect, others a little deceiving. Joy and disappointment. Fortunately, there are the excellent foregoers for stimulation, those living and dying for their profession will not leave the grievings to oneself.

kiskepzo-15-274x181Thanks to Krisztina Kecskés, Kristóf Bihari, Balázs Sipos, Péter Borkovics and James Carcass for the explanations, and thanks the students for their introduction.

5/4/2012 Budapest




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