Biot, Alpes-Maritimes, South Region
Observing the ballet of a glassblower at work. Seeing him delicately pick up molten glass with a blowing rod and rotating his hand with assurance. Adjusting his breath to provide volume. These movements have not changed since the Middle Ages. Such is the magic of glass, a ball of fire that turns into an object of light in Biot’s glassmakers.
© Hervé Hugues / hemis.fr
Glass is an incomparable material, dense, limpid, sonorous and luminous, born from a ball of fire and the breath of men. Originally known as a land of potters, the village of Biot on the Côte d'Azur is known throughout the world for its bubble glass, and more particularly from 1956 onwards with Eloi Monod, a ceramic engineer who created the Biot Glassworks. He developed the technique of bubble glass, a thick glass in which air bubbles are trapped between two glass leaves. It was a great success. Since then, a whole generation of talented glassmakers - some forty are based in Biot - has perpetuated the magic of the arts of fire. Blown with a cane, the glass is cut, sculpted, adorned with gold or simply matted, sometimes in sober and classic forms, sometimes more complex with innovative materials. Over time, the art of glassblowing has been passed down from generation to generation, from workshop to workshop, joined by famous French glassmakers who offer ever more audacious creations in keeping with tradition.