October 16, 2012 in Wine and Stemware
October 16, 2012 in Wine and Stemware
October 1, 2012 in History of Glass
|The building in the picture above is the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. The exterior is made of colorful cast-glass panels. A magnificent beauty!|
September 16, 2012 in Taking Care of Your Glass
Last time, we have briefly covered the two well-known types of wine glasses that most of you probably already know, the red wine glass and the white wine glass. To recap, we are going to explain the characteristics of each type a bit: The red wine glass has an oval shaped bowl and wide mouth that narrows slightly at the top of the glass for better airing of wine, whereas the white wine glass has a more slender flute shaped bowl and narrow mouth for strengthening the scent of wine as well as keeping the temperature of your chilled white wine low. In short, a white wine glass is significantly smaller than the red ones.
If you are a true wine connoisseur, you would be very well aware of the importance of glassware as well as some considerable things to look for before you opt for the right wine glasses. In this post, we will discuss the crucial steps of cleaning the glassware that you have decided to purchase. Many people tend to treat them like regular glasses, and use a normal cleansing process. But you need to know that your wine glasses are more delicate and fragile compared to normal glasses, especially if they have hand-painted designs on them. Not understanding how to wash them in the right manner will chip them off and in even worse cases, break them to pieces. This content will provide you with some different methods to take care your wine glasses properly.
Washing a wine glass using a dishwasher can be reckless, completely. First, this sort of glassware is more expensive compared to regular, factory-made glasses. Besides, the beautiful artwork (paintings, etchings) on the surface may get scratched off. You need to understand that a dishwasher is designed to remove baked muck from crockery and this is way too rough for your delicate glassware. Another reason not to utilize the average dishwasher is because when you put your wine glass inside the tool, you also mix them with other plates and bowls that may be greasy. If the wine glasses are washed with harder-to-clean glassware repeatedly, you will risk having run down glasses.
A detergent is a chemical substance. Although we use it for cleaning, sometimes the detergent remains on the surface of our glassware. Use only a little bit of detergent or if possible, not at all. Wine is water-soluble and hopefully not greasy, so that a lot of detergent it not required. In case you really want very clean glassware, use a tiny bit of detergent to rub the stain, such as the lipstick that may remain at the top of the glass.
According to some research, wine glasses are best washed by hand in hot water. Using your own hand, you can control how gentle you will rub the surfaces and have a cleaner result. You will also reduce the possibility of damaging your lovely artwork. It is suggested that you rinse your glasses in hot water.
There are two main benefits of this method. You will scour away the smell of wine that was previously served within the glass. So when you put another sort of wine next time, you will not mix the scents of them. On the other hand, hot water has been said to be the best medium to sterilize any possible bacteria found within the glassware. You could set the temperature as high as 80 degrees Celcius (176 degrees Fahrenheit), just like a commercial glass washer – but far gentler. This would wipe away all stains and germs. After that, you should let them dry naturally. Do not wipe them since it will impact the flavor of your wine next time.
April 3, 2012 in Taking Care of Your Glass
Photo Courtesy of aavaas.
Glass plates can be beautiful decorations for a special evening. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, with or without decorations.
Here are some guidelines on using them for serving food.
1. Microwaving Glass Plates
Glassware that is made entirely of glass is safe to put in the microwave. However, unusually thin glass can break not because of the microwave, but because of any boiling liquid inside it.
Overstock has a good guide on “How to Tell If Something Is Microwave-Safe.”
To summarize that guide, you can test whether a dish is microwave safe or not by
- adding water to the glassware
- microwaving it for 1 minute
- checking if it is warm or hot after heating. If it is warm or hot, it isn’t microwave safe.
Usually, common sense that applies to other types of materials (metal, styrofoam, plastic) also applies to glass. Overheating anything in microwaves is dangerous!
2. Other Types of Heat
Extreme heat can break glass because it is a poor conductor of heat. (i.e. heat is not transferred easily through glass, so that one specific area will be heated and expand, while the rest will stay the same, causing it to break.)
Even if the glassware does not break, it can be weakened by heat.
By avoiding quick heating or cooling, you can use glass plates with food safely.
i.e. Don’t boil food in a glass pot – but glass plates will be fine with any food that is at an edible temperature.
3. Safety with Food
Glass in general is seen to be safer to use with food than plastic or metal. (Plastic can melt and metal has rust.)
For example, lead free crystal is safe to use with all types of food, because it does not react to slightly acidic substances, such as wine and vinegar. A lot of sauces are wine-based or contain vinegar, so it’s good to know that you are eating just your food – instead of food and whatever that reacted with it!
Photos from Mirakkul Glassware Glass Plates.
1. Using the Dishwasher
Glass itself is safe to wash with dishwasher, but be sure that it is securely placed in the dishwasher so that it does not break. Running the dishwasher in the most gentle cycle will help.
If the glass plates are painted or otherwise decorated, it’s not a good idea to use the dishwasher. Hand wash them with gentle dish soap.
2. Other Methods
Dust with soft, lint-free cloth dampened in a mild solution of ammonia and water. Do not use chemical cleaners like Windex.
Avoid contact with metal utensils so that the glassware doesn’t get scratched. Obviously, this can be hard to do when you are eating. But keeping it in mind can lengthen the beauty of your glassware. (It’s like not trying to scratch the bottom of your pot, even though inevitably, it will retain some scratches while cooking.)
Hand wash with non-abrasive cleaner (mild soap, dish washing liquid) in warm water. Stains can be rubbed off with lemon and vinegar solutions. Glassware can be air-dried or dried with soft lint-free cloth.
Store your glassware right side up. If space permits, do not stack vessels.
Use soft cloth or bubble wrap rather than newpaper packings, which are too moisture-absorbing.
Sometimes it can be hard to stick to all these rules, but these are the most detailed guidelines that you can stick to, so don’t feel overwhelmed. Maybe the particular glassware you have isn’t that expensive or valuable and you don’t want to put so much care. Maybe it is sturdier than most glassware so that you don’t have to be so careful. And that’s fine too.
At any rate, following the guidelines above will ensure that you can use the most delicately decorated, valuable glass plates for a long time.
The place where every glass is handmade.
February 9, 2012 in Taking Care of Your Glass
The following is the ‘How to Care for Your Glassware’ recommendation that we always attach to our wine glass shipments, provided by the artists at GMG. In case you lost it, or in case you are just looking for some info on how to best take care of your glassware, it will be useful!
* It’s applicable to almost any glassware/ glass art.
• Do not expose to rapid temperature changes or extremes of temperature.
• Do not place in the microwave, oven, dishwasher, or freezer.
• Avoid placing in direct sunlight.
• For best results, avoid contact with metal utensils when stirring or serving.
• For candleholders, do not secure candles with molten wax or allow candles to burn within three inches of the candle cup. Drips less candles are preferable. If wax does adhere to candleholder, clean gently with denatured alcohol.
• Store your glassware right side up; do not stack vessels. Avoid sliding or twirling the glass.
• Avoid contact with hard or abrasive materials. You may wish to cover display areas with protective felt.
• Avoid packing glassware in newspaper or other moisture-absorbing materials for long periods of time; soft cloth or bubble wrap is preferable.
Cleaning your glassware:
• Hand wash using a non-abrasive (mild soap like dish washing liquid) cleaner in warm water. You cannot use any type of chemical cleaner like Windex. You may wish to cushion the sink with a towel or rubber mat.
• If stains appear on the vessel, gently rub with half a lemon, wash with vinegar, or soak the interior with powdered dentifrice dissolved in lukewarm water.
• In areas with very hard water and high mineral content, distilled water will help prevent staining.
• To dry, use a soft, lint-free cloth, or air dry.
• To avoid scratching, dust with a soft, lint-free cloth dampened in a mild solution of 1-part ammonia to 3-parts water
Additional, more specific information about caring and cleaning for your glassware can be found in the ‘Taking Care of Your Glass‘ category, which has tips on how to clean a stained wine decanter and how to clean a glass chandelier.
Occasional cleaning will ensure long-lasting quality in your wine glasses, chandelier, and other glass products!
There place where every glass is handmade.
February 8, 2012 in Taking Care of Your Glass
Photo Courtesy of AvroMoving
At some point in life, you might decide to move.
Mattress, furniture, clothes – almost everything is packed. But how to pack glassware so they don’t break?
KEEP the original packaging. This includes the box, styrofoam shapes/balls, paper, and everything else.
Especially if you bought your glassware online, the store that shipped it to you will already have the expertise of packing and shipping glassware. If it arrived as a whole piece, you can probably replicate the result with the same packaging.
Also, note that using a box of the right size is important. So even though those boxes tend to be bulky, it is a good idea to keep them. (More details on the definition of ‘right’ size in the following section.)
If you have already trashed all packaging, you can choose appropriate packaging and DIY:
Wrap your glassware with fine, thin paper. People do use newspaper sometimes – but for higher-end glassware, it isn’t recommended. (It has ink, is damp, and has a rough surface.)
Wrapping the glassware with paper allows you to put any kind of cushioning material in the box, without scratching the glassware. So whatever additional wrapping you want to apply on or around the glassware, do it AFTER you wrap it once with thin paper.
This is an example of our shot glass, wrapped in exactly the same way as we ship it. The brown thing is thin paper, and we wrap the glass again with thin Styrofoam paper.
Here comes the definition of the ‘right’ box: “not way too much bigger than the glassware itself so it doesn’t float around within the box, but big enough to have enough room for cushioning.”
Many people find this definition vague. I find this vague.
So if unsure, you can use the double-boxing method (this is what we do for our wine glasses and other types of stemware):
2.1. Use a smaller box in which all your glassware snugly fit in. Glassware should already be wrapped with paper at this point. If you want to put many different glassware in one box, use dividers so they don’t collide.
Above is an example of shot glasses packed in a snug box, using dividers.
2.2. Get a much larger box and fill it with cushioning material. Most moving boxes will work. Place the small box in the middle of the larger box, and put more cushioning material above and around the small box.
Honestly, Styrofoam has been the best in my experience. It’s easy to fill into every corner of the box, cheap, and reusable.
(This is why it’s a good idea to keep original packaging. Buying Styrofoam every time you need it would be a waste of resources. More details on our ‘Need it it, Use it, but if you really Don’t, Don’t use it’ philosophy is in a previous post, Going Green without the Painful Part.)
Alternatively, you can use crumpled newspaper.
You can write FRAGILE with markers on the box, but some movers will just completely ignore them (!). So putting a real sticker will help.
If you don’t want to buy extra stickers, you can ask your moving company if they have them available for free. Or you can print out a sign like the one above here.
Even if you do all of the above, glasses will break if someone decides to throw the box on the ground. Drive safely, carry the box carefully, and you are good to go!
Tired of big businesses without ideals? See what we think. At least we know why we love glassware.
January 17, 2012 in History of Glass
Historians estimate that glass making started about 3500 years ago. It is one of the oldest forms of art and has many myths associated with it; the most famous myth about how glass was made is the one about a group of Phoenician sailors.
The story starts when the sailors landed on a beach one night. They needed to cook food to eat, so that they built a fire. They set their cooking pots on top of stones of natron that they were carrying as cargo. As the fire continuously heated the stones and the sand beneath them, a liquid flowed out and eventually cooled and hardened. This accidentally-formed liquid was glass.
It is hard to believe that glass was first formed in this way, but the myth was later on supported by the fact that the materials used by the sailors are almost the same ingredients used to make glass nowadays. Sand is still the main ingredient for the recipe, and with the help of ashes from trees or plants, glass is formed.
Another story of the beginning of glass making dates back to 2500 BC. Solid beads and amulets have been found from that time, and are believed to have been made during the pre-Roman times. Glassmakers during this time were making vessels, but glass blowing was not yet discovered.
In the first century in Mesopotamia, potters set sand, minerals, and clay on fire to make glass. It is also believed that nearly a thousand years later, a Mesopotamian managed to form a glass tube and blow a bubble at the end, which is believed to be the first blowpipe. At this time, glass was not yet a common household material. Few people knew how to make glass and Pharaohs, priest and nobles were the only groups of people who owned glass.
The knowledge about glass making slowly spread from Egypt and Mesopotamia through trade.
No one can say for sure how glass was first formed or discovered, and it is this mystery surrounding glass that makes it even more enchanting.
December 26, 2011 in History of Glass
The Roman Empire was so vast and lasted for such a long time that there were many different styles coexisting within this category, although there was indeed a “Roman” theme that distinguished their art of glass from hand blown glass elsewhere.
In 1st century AD, large scale glass manufacturing formed in Syria, Palestine, and Alexandria. Some glass makers even started to sign their glassware during this time, signifying that people began to see glass art as a unique art form worthy of owning and respecting.
Generally, Syrian glass makers produced utilitarian glassware, while Alexandrian glassmakers focused on luxury objects. Many moved to Italy and other Roman colonies, and glass houses spread quickly through Europe. The vast trade network of the Roman Empire contributed a lot to this development. Soon, Cologne became a glassmaking center as important as Alexandria. The styles of these different locations were very similar to each other because there was a lot of communication and trade between these areas.
Like this, the Roman period started an unprecedented advancement in the glass industry, during which even the common people began to have access to glassware. Some household glassware that were commonly used were janus flasks, which displayed the head of persons on a flask, and victory cups, with laurels and inscriptions for decoration. Mirrors and windows were also produced using glass.
Artistic glass also continued to be produced. For example, cage cups, which were bowls or cups with rounded sides and pierced decorations attached by struts, were created. The decoration was not fused to the surface; instead, the entire object was created out of a solid block of glass by under-cutting. Because the process is so complex, surviving pieces are very rare and it is difficult to reproduce even today!
Such art of glass shows the high quality of the ancient Roman hand blown glass, and also indicate that glass art flourished as a field of art that created enough demand from the wealthy classes.