Tuesday, 1 October 2019

WORKSHOP IN TEL-EL-AMARNA


The earth, like a giant storehouse, is fraught with traces of the activities of long-extinct generations. Undoubtedly, the remains of glass-making workshops have been preserved somewhere in many countries. But where exactly are they to be found? Obviously, the oldest of them were located in Egypt, in Babylon, in Assyria, that is, in countries that have long known the secrets of making glass.
 

Tel-El-Amarna
Tel-El-Amarna
 Here they were sought. And, in the end, they were found. Near the ancient Egyptian capital of Tel-El-Amarna, during excavations deep in the ground, a dilapidated glass-making workshop was discovered. Archaeologists have discovered clay bowls, deep pans, crucibles with remnants of undercooked glass adhering to the bottom and walls; spoons with which the masters took samples. There were glass sticks painted in various colors: blue, green, turquoise, violet, red.

These glass sticks served as semi-finished products. Grabbing a little fire-hot glass with a spoon, the master threw it on a stone table and began to roll it with an iron rolling pin in the same way that the housewife rolled out flagella of dough to make cookies of intricate shape. But the housewife can take her time, and the master glassmaker had very little time: not even minutes, but short seconds!

Tel-El-Amarna, Ahetaton Ruins
Tel-El-Amarna, Ahetaton Ruins
The master wound sticks on clay rods, stacking them in various combinations, giving the product the shape that he intended, then he put it all on fire.

The sticks fused among themselves, and it seemed that the thing was molded from a whole piece of glass. Sometimes a new pattern of colored sticks was superimposed over the finished vessel, and again the product was heated to solder the sticks to the vessel.

The work of glassmaker required skill and high artistic taste. And, of course, the Egyptians did not immediately learn how to make such truly complicated things as the eye of Amenhotep, the blue medallion, or beautiful vases.

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Mon - Fri 8.00am - 6.00pm
Saturday and Sunday CLOSED