Our Glass Museum gives a brief overview of how glass is made, with lots of examples of interesting pieces: The museum’s location is particularly interesting as it is situated directly before the entrance to our Glassworks –Teign Valley Glass. This means that you can take a walk through the history of glass, straight into a modern glassworks where glass is made before your eyes!
Glass is a fascinating medium to work with because many of the elements used to create colour pigments can be affected during the making process, depending on atmospheric conditions such as temperature and humidity. One of the most difficult colours to work with is red. Red glass is normally more expensive than other colours due to the high cost elements required to produce it. Furthermore, as red is required to produce pink and purple hues, these colours are also seen less often in glass.
Our most popular, if rather strange, item by far in the Glass museum is our collection of glass eyes. These obviously bear some resemblance to marbles in their concave shape and would have been made using similar techniques to those used to make marbles. Glassmakers probably used lampworking techniques to make the iris and pupil detailing, which were designed to match each person’s unique eye appearance.
Another popular attraction in the Glass Museum is the huge marble machine that dominates much of the floor space. Although many visitors may not recognise it straight away for what it does, in its day this was the first machine we ever used to make our large marbles (of 30mms or larger). There is an explanation of how it works alongside it in the museum.
In this museum we have tried to explain the process of how glass is made, with early examples from as long ago as Roman times. Amongst the many items available to peruse, there are some great examples of pieces made using various production methods to demonstrate how glassmaking techniques have developed over time, including a few select items that are uniquely difficult to make. In addition, there are also examples of newer pieces such as handmade glow-in-the-dark marble varieties, which are exceptionally modern in glassmaking terms.
We hope that you might learn a thing or two while taking a stroll through this area. Finding out something new while potentially gaining a new interest are both equally as important as passing on the Victorian making skills that Teign Valley Glass still aim to do today, to keep those skills alive for years to come.