Themes: Glass blowing on stamps

Themes: Glass blowing on stamps

If you are looking for a challenging theme to chase down, look no further than glass blowing. You can find hundreds of stamps about glassware, stained glass, glass art, but very few featuring glass blowing. I suspect a person could have an entire collection just on glassware stamps alone but the art of glass blowing isn’t as readily available. 

The earliest set I could find came via Syria.  Their 1970 airmail stamp for the 17th International Fair of Damascus features a traditional glass blowing scene. I’m not sure who the designer was, so if you have details, please share them in the comments below. 

Syria 1970 glass blowing

 

The great Czesław Słania’s hand is evident in this 1972 5 stamp set from Sweden. He used Lennart Olson’s photographs of glass blowers at work. Olsen’s photographs have a page over at the Museum of Modern Art Lennart Olson | MoMA so if you are interested in seeing his some of work, check it out. 

Swedish glass blowing 1972 1 Swedish glass blowing 1972 Swedish glass blowing 1972 3 Swedish glass blowing 1972 4 Swedish glass blowing 1972 5

A second glass blowing stamp was issued by Sweden in 1988. Designed by K Netzler and J. Zakus. 

 Swedish glass blowing 1989 

 

The USA’s 1972 Colonial American Craftsman stamps included a glass blower at work. It was one of 4 se-tenant stamps issued to celebrate the American Bicentennial. Designer Leonard Everett Fisher was responsible for all 4 stamps. He was a prolific book illustrator of children’s books and wrote and illustrated a number of his own as well as designing 6 other stamps for the US postal services. 

 USA Colonial glass blowers 

 

Słania returned with another glass blowing series in 1976, this time for Denmark. Helle Jessen’s social realism artwork gives the design a gritty focus. 

Denmark glass making 1976 1 Denmark glass making 1976 4 Denmark glass making 1976 3 Denmark glass making 1976 2

It’s an interesting set, and I haven’t made up my mind about it. In some ways, it’s a great, expressive series, but feels so grim at the same time.  

 

Finland rolls in with Victor Torsten Ekström’s 1981 300th anniversary stamp celebrating the Uusikaupunki Glass Factory.  Ekström designed 44 stamps over his career. This one wasn’t one of his best works, in my opinion. It’s ok, but pretty static. 

Finland glass making 300th anniversary

 

Portugal’s 1998 set 250th Anniversary of Glass Industry in Marinha Grande was a great one. Artist João Machado often offers up imaginative designs. Machado is one of my favourite Portuguese designers because he’s not afraid of exploring new ideas and materials like his 2007 cork issue.  

José Lito Maia did the engraving for Machado’s artwork.

Portugal 1998 set 250th Anniversary of Glass Industry 1Portugal 1998 set 250th Anniversary of Glass Industry 2 

Portugal 1998 set 250th Anniversary of Glass Industry 4 Portugal 1998 set 250th Anniversary of Glass Industry 3

 

Canada’s 1999 stamp was simply titled Glass-Blowing . It was part of the Traditional Trades series that ran from 1999 to 2002.  Designers Monique Dufour and Sophie Lafortune produced 8 stamps for the series, all featuring photographs from Jean-Pierre Beaudin.  Beaudin’s photography appeared on 37 stamps from 1973 to 2000. It’s a wonderfully understated series that is eye catching.

Dufour and Lafortune have proven to be a bit elusive. When I finally track down decent links on them, I’ll post here.   

Glass blowing Canada 1999

 

Malta’s 2006 Maltese Craft series was similar to Canada’s Traditional Trades. It featured 5 trades such as metal work, jewelry making and of course glass blowing. Designer Richard Caruana created the set. 

Malta 2006 Glass blowing

Caruana was an interesting choice for these stamps. He’s better known for his technical drawings for Osprey aviation books and aviation artwork.  

 

France featured glass blowing twice, 2012 and again 2015. The first stamp is a little shy of details. I’m not even sure who the designer was. 

France glass blowing 2012

The second stamp was created by Grenade & Sparks as part of a l2 stamp booklet set titled L’art et la matière . Like Canada and Malta, this 2015 booklet included one glass making stamp.

France Glass blowing 2015

 

And finally, Switzerland’s 2017 200th Anniversary of Hergiswil Glass Craftsmanship stamp rounds out the collection. Simon Hauser and David Schwarz, of Hauser, Schwarz, created a clean, simple image focusing on the creation of an Anna goblet.

Switerland 2017 glass blowing stamp

That’s all the stamps I found. If you know of one I missed, drop a note in the comments and share your find.  

This article started as special content for my weekly newsletter. The original article was published back in May 2021. If you’d like to see new articles before they hit the website, why not sign up for my newsletter. Use the pop up form to the right or go back to the home page and use the sign up box. 

As always, I look forward to hearing from readers. You are welcome to leave a comment and tell us which is your favourite stamp.  


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