December 07 2011
Lucia van der Post
Now is the time to seek out Christmas decorations that are works of art and can be handed down as heirlooms. Last year I brought to readers’ attention the lovely one-off pieces that could be found on The Goldsmiths’ Company’s website – but remember they have to be commissioned, they can’t be bought online, so if you love them, order for next Christmas.
This year, however, Peter Layton, one of Europe’s leading glassblowers, has created a collection of exquisite hand-blown baubles. They are extraordinarily varied in shape (round, oblong, pear-shaped), colour and pattern. Some are translucent, others have swirly colours blown through the glass, some are black and white. Prices are equally varied, from £40 for a Hydrangea Bauble and £80 for a Glacier Bauble to £225 for a Paradiso Bauble with silver accents. A Paradiso Bauble with silver wings (left in picture) is £395. Peter Layton’s London Glassblowing Studio in Bermondsey can be visited, and the baubles can be bought online.
And while we’re on the subject of exquisite little numbers, 20ltd, the company that specialises in bringing very limited editions of exclusive products to its online shop, commissioned the artist James Lethbridge to make what it calls an Everlasting Gobstopper – a Christmas decoration handmade in glass (right in picture). The inspiration was taken – but of course – from the iconic piece of confectionery seen in the 1971 film of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Lethbridge has replicated the shape and the colours (apparently an extremely rare coloured borosilicate glass had to be used). It comes, like all of 20ltd’s objects, in an edition of 20 and costs £110.