One way to ensure a truly bespoke Christmas decoration is DIY. Beyond childhood’s paper chains and glitter lies a more adult activity: the opportunity to create an individual glass Christmas tree bauble at Bermondsey’s London Glassblowing (£50 for 15 minutes).
Nervous novices will be hand-held throughout by expert glassblowers. The process involves adding coloured granules to clear molten glass, reheated to over 1,200 degrees Celsius. Next, the lungs get to work; after a deep breath, air is introduced to create a bubble, while the blowing iron is simultaneously turned.
Naturally, the cooler the glass becomes, the further it hardens, so any strange shapes can be ironed out by placing the glass back in the furnace. After a couple of days’ gradual cooling, baubles are ready for collection; expertly created examples are also available to buy (from £45 to £300).
Peter Layton, who founded London Glassblowing in 1976, is a regular in the studio over Christmas and will often be on hand to assist and advise. Mince pies and mulled wine will be served – the latter perhaps best imbibed after time spent with a furnace and molten glass.