Glass blowing is an ancient craft that’s been around for quite a few many eras. This skill is not an easy one to maintain. In fact, one must be very prepared to withstand extremely high temperatures for up to a minimum of seven hours a day.
In Palestine, an entire neighborhood in the city of Hebron has gotten its name from this specific craft alone. Al Qazazeen (i.e. glass workers) neighborhood is comprised of many glass workers till today. This skill goes back to the Mamluk period and has been mastered in Hebron.
These vibrant sea colors are usually what one imagines when thinking of glass blown ornaments. First, glass is melted in an extremely hot furnace. The liquid that comes out is then placed on a pipe ready to be handled.
In Hebron, these objects are done exactly how the name implies, by blowing through a pipe, into the glass.
The man puffs and blows into the pipe until he achieves the desired shape, which is then held by a pair of pliers.
Once the shaping is complete, the object is set aside to cool down, after which it is ready to be colored. Palestinian glass blowers add cobalt and copper in order to create the blue and green ornaments we see in the market today.
We see a variety of plates, bowls, vases, and other trinkets in the Hebron market. However, handmade Christmas ornaments are also a huge part of the industry.
Glass blowing is a wide market in Hebron, and they are better known for these ornaments. Today, anyone looking for a handmade piece of Palestine can find even fragile Christmas ornaments ready to be shipped right from the source.