Why does it take two artisans at least 20 minutes to make just one of our Santino glasses? Because each one is made entirely by hand, which means that no two glasses are exactly the same. Unlike other techniques involving a mold, Santino is made entirely with a free-blowing technique that’s common in Mexico, where these glasses are handcrafted. Santino is made primarily out of recycled glass from local soda and tequila companies, which gives it a sturdy, artisan feel.
Read on to learn more about the process behind our new line of recycled glassware.
Each piece of Santino Glassware is made out of collected or donated bottles — many of them discarded Coca-Cola or Barrilitos soda bottles. Turning millions of pieces of broken, recycled glass into the stunning Santino glassware requires intense hand labor and skill. These master glass blowers start training at a young age, since it takes at least 10 years to become a true master.
Once an adequate amount of glass has been collected and all the colored glass sorted out, it’s cleaned carefully with water — no acids or chemicals are used during this process.All of the glass is loaded into a kiln set at 1500° C. Once the master glass blowers are ready, they use a pipe to take out some of the glass from the kiln and create a glass bulb. This bulb is molded, rolled and blown until it’s the right size and shape. Any details, such as the molded glass base, are added by hand with clamps, wooden slats and other tools.
The glass is reheated several times to finalize the shape and prevent breakage. When the process is complete, it’s put in an oven (along with many other glasses) set at about 500° C. The oven is turned off and closed from about 3PM to 6AM, when the glass has set and cooled completely.
All of this work is well worth it — our Santino Recycled Glassware is thick and sturdy enough for everyday use, but still has an elegant shape that’s perfect for summer dinner parties.