French crystal: Cristallerie de Montbronn
Crystal is essentially composed of silica, lead oxide and potassium carbonate. But above all, crystal is the refinement of radiance, transparency and inimitable clear tinkling, the vessel to contain the greatest wine.
In the 18th century, the great glass-makers settled in the East of France. It was in Montbronn, in Moselle, that Alain Ferstler opened his workshop. Since Joseph Louis Ferstler took over the family glassworks which was founded in 1930 by his own father, the crystal art has been passed on through the different generations. And it is this know-how that gives the crystal its own special magic, in the working of double colour crystal, composed of 2 layers of crystal, one transparent and the other coloured.
Particularly well adapted to decoration, the diamond grindstone only cuts through the coloured crystal layer, letting the radiance of the transparent layer shine through. Here blue, there green, not less than 10 colours are worked at Montbronn. Solidly planted on his elbows, his eyes fixed on the grindstone, his gaze piercing the elegant subject, the cutter calculates each of his gesture both with flexibility and firmness. Given that each cut is irreversible, extreme concentration at every moment as well as years of practice are necessary to acquire the dexterity of the great crystal craftsmen.
Several thousands of crystal pieces are produced in this small company. This glass for example which will be likely to land on the lips of a Qatar princess, has to go through many stages of transformation and verification: from sketching, pattern etching that guides the glasscutter to glass cutting itself. It will then leave this workshop to be polished up with acid. This delicate step – an advanced technique in the glass craft know-how - is supervised by par Gérard Ferstler. This technique which has been one of the most significant developments in crystal processing is constantly checked and secured so that it does not have any impact on the environment.
Every single piece produced in this company is etched with the Cristallerie de Montbronn seal, before being dispatched to Europe, but also to the United States, the Middle East and especially to China where the family company is well-known for the quality of its know-how and has so acquired indisputably the brand name of French luxury goods.