Skansen historic museum and pre-industrial craft workshops, Sweden, May 2006
The Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm is kind of like a historic theme park that shows how life in Sweden looked before the historical era. It has craftspeople who give demos of old-time crafts, such as glass-blowing. My friend and I visited the glassblower’s workshop and took pictures there.
In the back of the glassmaker’s workshop there is a furnace where he heats the glass at the end of the long pipe that he’s holding. Then he briefly blows into that pipe, and then stands at that grey metal partition at the left — I don’t know what it’s properly called — and shapes the glass with metal tongs. That’s my very inept description of the process, the best I could come up with without knowing the proper terms for all the tools, etc.
Here is a video. In that video, after shaping the glass with tongs, he puts it back in the furnace. After that, he repeats the process with the tongs.
The glassmaker takes the pipe with the glass at the end, still glowing, from the furnace.
Then he rolls the pipe back and forth on that grey metal counter, while clamping the neck of the glass bowl with those tongs, and I’m not sure what’s that for — to shape it better? To remove extra glass?
Old-time pharmacy and lab equipment in a 18th or 19th century pharmacy replica in Skansen. Wikipedia tells me that those bulbous jars with long, downward-curving spouts are called retorts, and they are used for distilling liquids. I suppose the distilled liquid drips down the spout and collects in the round-bottomed glass flask, into which the spout is inserted.
The sign next to them says, in three languages, “Fragile! Do not touch!”
This is probably the checkout counter of the same old-time pharmacy, with the pharmacist at the counter — one of the staff here who role-play the professions of the 18th or 19th centuries.
Me and a view of Stockholm from a terrace at Skansen
A playground in Skansen — a pyramid-like three-dimensional net for children to climb. Cool concept, and I wonder why I haven’t seen anything like that in the United States.