This week we are excited to announce that we have a new color of Lights Lanterns available! Not only do we have the original Multicolor Lights Lantern but now we have the new Blue Lights Lantern. To celebrate the release of our new design we'd love to show you the process of making these gorgeous lanterns.
We are often asked about the steps and processes of creating various products. This week, we are going to discuss one of our most popular items, our Lights Lanterns. Who doesn’t enjoy sitting outdoors or even indoors with a colorful display of light? Our Lights Lanterns come in two colors and two sizes and can be used just about anywhere! Use one, use several, the same size or use both large and small together, indoors or out… the possibilities, well, they are endless!
The lantern making process begins with clear glass called tekta, which is cut into long rectangular panels. Once the panels are cut, the artisans, using special glue, affix random pieces of different colored glass. Some of the artisans prefer to use a paintbrush to apply the glue, others use a small glue bottle with a narrow tip dabbing the glue into the glass. The process is always slightly different, but the end result is the same. Some people like to drop a handful of glass onto the panel and move them around to their final place. Others like to painstakingly pick out each individual piece from the bin and arrange them perfectly. In the end both methods create a lovely and colorful arrangement.
Since this project allows for a lot of variety and quite a bit of differences from panel to panel it is one of our most accesable projects. Those with limited fine motor skills can participate just as much as others. This project is a favorite among many artists since the colors are bright and jewel toned. If this were a typical year, the artisans would be completing these projects in our glass studio. Due to the pandemic, staff created individual project bins giving artisans the opportunity to continue working from home. This was a perfect at home project since it requires little tools, and very little oversight!
Once glued together, it's time for the kiln. Each panel is placed into the kiln on top of the special shelf paper. After the firing process is finished, the panels are cut into specific dimensions based on the size of the lantern, large or small. Each panel must fit precisely into each of the four sides of the lantern frame. Using a grinder, each side of each glass panel is sanded down to fit perfectly into the frame.
So, when you are sitting on your patio or even in your living room enjoying the beautiful play of light coming from your lanterns, know that you are supporting the artisans that created this project. You have contributed to their employment and help them build workplace skills. Wow, what a gift!