Heart of glass

John Hearne is a glassmaker and the author of a lavish new illustrated history of Waterford Crystal, which examines not only its unique design elements, but the devastating strike of 1990 and the rollercoaster ride of Tony O’Reilly’s subsequent stewardship

9th December, 2018
A gathering as the first glass is cut at Waterford Crystal in 1947

Glass. The most ubiquitous of craft objects. Though made from the most basic of ingredients, sand and ash, nothing could be more complicated than turning these ingredients into solid functional or non-functional form. Glass production is where craft is seen at its most creative and alluring, yet it is the most difficult of mediums with which to work.

But there is a humanity to glass as a medium. Like plastic, it can move from intangible...

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