Rock crystal – a short history of lead crystal

The word “crystal” comes from Greek and means the ice of Gods…

No doubt that when visiting Munich Residenz Museum, where all Bavarian kings used to reside before the museum was opened to visitors,  crystalware got its  special place in the museum’s section called “Treasures”.

Ewer birds Louvre

The whole experience of listening to a guide during this visit inspired me to focus my blog on history of crystal drawing your attention to the rock crystal which was the original material for producing stunning cut crystal tableware including crystal centrepieces, vases and other extravagant vessels decorated with gold and jewels seen in the section.

Around the seventh century rock crystal allowed craftsmen for the first time to decorated pieces with rich cuts and facets. This is the time when royal families and aristocrats started consuming in style drawing more attention to opulent and richly decorated table accessories. Rock crystal had found its presence in various beads, figurines, and dishes often given as a special gift to royal families.

Venetian Glassmakers

In 1200′s a Venetian Glassmakers Guild was established and it was here were Venetian glassblowers were commissioned by German and French kings to come up with new pieces to decorate palace’s rooms. Despite its endless beauty it become clear that cutting rock crystal was very time consuming and difficult. In attempts to imitate nature, man began making glass that was termed crystal by adding metals to change the character of the glass, and lead was found to be the most successful of these additives.

The crystal industry reached a new level in the mid-1500s when several leading glassblowers from Venice moved to London and found the favour of Queen Elizabeth I who promoted the art form.

Modern Lead Crystal

In modern times lead glass was first produced in the Netherlands. However, the technology which made the industry economically viable culminated in England where by George Ravenscroft who established his own glasshouse in London in 1673 and, shortly after, patented a process for making “flint glass” ( lead crystal).

Ravenscroft found that the addition of lead to glass during the melting process improved the quality of the glass. Technically speaking, lead glass is relatively soft and easier to cut, and its high refractive index gives it a brilliance that can be exploited by decorating the surface with polished wheel-cut facets.

Timeless Process

Glass making is a 2,000-year-old process that has changed remarkably little in that time. Raw materials are essentially the same, although experiments over the years with the addition of lead to crystal have improved the product have changes as well. Nowadays, a number of factories substitute lead with other metals like barium. At Gurasu, we believe that lead is what gives the most appreciated weight and sparkle to the final piece.

In various museums such as Corning in NY, Victoria and Albert in London or Louvre Museum you can find and be inspired by various decorative techniques which have emerged over the centuries.

Why Easter Is So Special – The Easter Table

We all know and understand just why we have the Easter weekend – it is a religious festival related to the rebirth of Christ. For Christians this is incredibly significant and is a huge part of their traditional celebrations for the year. But the meaning of Easter has also become an embedded part of all traditions - religious or not. We take part in some frankly weird rituals, which certainly need some investigating - Easter egg hunt, anyone?

Easter Table

 Image credit - Yvonne Eijkenduijn

The Christian tradition

For Christians, Easter Sunday is the most important day of the year (barring Christmas Day). It is the day Jesus was resurrected and is seen as one of rebirth and celebration. The name Easter comes from the pagan festival for new life “ostara” which was then used by Christians as a way of symbolising the new life of Christ. Easter is always celebrated at the same time each year because it was written in the bible that the resurrection took place around the time of the Jewish Passover.

The Secular tradition

Many of us don’t really understand why chicks, chocolate eggs and bunnies play such a big role at Easter time. After all, what has that to do with religion? It is all to do with Easter being at spring time and the fact that these things symbolise new life (both the start of a new growth cycle at spring and the resurrection). Over the years the tradition of collecting and eating eggs has become the decorating of eggs and the giving of chocolate eggs.

The Easter table

Lamb is most commonly eaten at Easter time for two reasons: Jesus was regarded as “the lamb of God” and lambs are abundant at Spring time. For many of us Easter Sunday will start with Hot Cross buns with their fruit base and cinnamon flavour,  chocolatey eggs for a snack  and ends with a lamb roast. The Easter table should also be adorned with flowers. The lily has become one of the most common as it symbolises the purity and goodness, while the passion flower symbolises the dying of Jesus on the cross.

Creating a beautiful table

Take your inspiration from the Spring and use blossom colours, pastel shades and plenty of white to contrast. Show off your flowers in one of our crystal vases and add candles for a soft warm glow. The table should be simple, but a centrepeice of gorgeous pastel eggs will be eye-catching, while not overbearing. You can use kitchen eggs for a more rustic feel or even crochet some lovely little egg cosies for a cuter and more homely look.

Most of all Easter is a time for bringing the family together – enjoying the four days of peacefulness and calm. Get out in the new Spring sunshine and have a lovely weekend of good food, relaxing company and family fun. That is what Easter means for all of us.

Enjoyed this post on the Easter table, you may also like: Styling your wedding table ideas.


Styling your wedding table ideas

We’re really lucky to live during a time when brides and grooms are encouraged to infuse their wedding day with their own personality!

Having this in mind, the styling possibilities for your wedding day are truly endless, and one area where you can be as creative as you like is your wedding tables.

1. The best point to start from it to create a mood board. Set up your wedding planning Pinterest pages with inspiration fonts, food, colour, and fashion sections, too—not just wedding ideas. Look through your other boards for key themes—do you repeat a lot of the same colour?

2. Look to fashion and interiors magazine covers for interesting combinations for colour. I think that is one of the most exciting things right now is all of the new colour combinations the fashion and interiors world has been creating. An alternative to Pinterest would be creating a scratch book (amazing memory for years to come).

So I’ve been looking around the web and today I’m sharing with you my top wedding table styling ideas. From beautiful centrepieces to amazing crockery, here are 30 ideas for your big day.

Vintage colour palette has always been my favourite. Delicate ivory, light pink roses… Matilda champagne sauces will match the romantic theme very well.


Ladies who lunch (and quaff)

There is nothing quite like an afternoon of champagne and cupcakes and here at Gurasu we think that ladies should be served in style. Any cocktail deserves to be sipped from the very best crystal – it just makes it taste even better (if that is even possible…).

Of course, cocktail with cake is an even better combination. That is why we have joined up with truly lovely, somewhere shabby chic somewhere vintage cake and tea room  Bake-a-boo over at Go Dotty they know exactly what ladies like. You can attend a tea party with a difference. Drinks in Gurasu crystal glasses and cakes of every imaginable colour. In fact the whole day will be dot themed with cupcake decoration and other crafts mixing with the champers. We can’t wait to see the creations which are made!

This very special party is being hosted in celebration of the appointment of Miss Boo – the new stylist for the Stella & Dot latest collection. We are very proud to be a part of such a fun event and hope to see everyone there – having fun, quaffing champagne and limiting themselves to just one cupcake…well, OK, maybe one and a half!

The tea party is on Wednesday, 26th March ,  so get out your favourite party dress (go for dots for a chance to win a very special prize), book your hairdressers appointment for a wash and set and have the red lippy popped in your handbag, because this is the event of the year (well, the week anyway) and we don’t want you to miss out!

Take a look at this link for all the gorgeous details.  We will see you there!

Birds Of Paradise – Gurasu’s 2014 Spring Colourful Crystal Collection

Birds of Paradise Crystal Cocktail Glasses, set of 6

Birds of Paradise Crystal Cocktail Glasses, set of 6

Here at Gurasu Crystal we base our design and colour decisions on what we think will be the future fashions and trends within our genre. But it doesn’t mean we are slaves to fashion – it simply means that inspiration comes from many places and for us, home interiors and clothing styles are great places to start.



Cutting Edge Crystalware – Bomma Crystal

Cutting edge crystalware? Our cup of tea!

The long expected delivery of new Bomma designs arrived yesterday into our showroom – Gurasu Concept in London.
We were delighted to unpack precisely wrapped the most amazing “oversized” crystal pieces such as Nut by Boda Horak, Solid by Olgoj Chorchoj or Glass Mount by Arik Levy.

Glass Mount by Arik Levy Art & Design Studio

Glass Mount by Arik Levy Art & Design Studio

Mother’s Day Crystal Gifts? Doesn’t Your Mum Deserve Something Pretty?

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and you are probably already thinking about what she might like. The problem with Mums (if problem is the right word) is that they are by nature self sacrificing.

They worry about their kids, they ferry them to after school clubs, make sure they don’t eat too much sugar and blow dry your hair at silly times in the morning. But when it comes to themselves, they rarely ask for very much at all. If they do request something, it always seems to be a practical item which will be used, but maybe not well loved.

A short history of glass

A short history of glass. Glass making has always been viewed as a form of art and even in our modern day homes we often see expressions of art in the form of glass. In fact, glass can be seen as the ultimate in both practical and artistic forms of expression. It is a very rare object which can be both beautiful and useful.

photo credit: clarkmaxwell via photopin cc

photo credit: clarkmaxwell