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DECOR: Modern Art in the Making

Daum invites us to witness art in the making at their factory in Nancy, where pâte de verre breathes life and color into crystal.

In the clear and crystal world of glass, Daum composes art in colors so vibrant that even nature envies and language fails to capture. Whereas they simply describe this season’s L’Hiver en Soi as ‘amber’, the truth can be something like bottling the spectrum. Tawny copper bleeds into a glowing gold until finally drifting darkly into the crimson hem of a delicate yet statuesque woman forever caught in a sudden breeze, clutching a slipping shawl close in the cold. Effortless and artful, L’Hiver en Soi captures the essence of modern art. But as with all Daum pieces, it is an art that has been in the making since the second millennium B.C.

Daum is the only commercial crystal manufacturer to employ the pâte de verre glassmaking technique. Developed by the ancient Mesopotamians, pâte de verre was further perfected by the Egyptians until Roman glassblowing gained popularity. The art was lost to the ages until rediscovered by French archeologists in the 19th century, where Daum improved this ancient method to breathe new life and color into crystal. Since then, they have created galleries worth of vibrantly colored vases, sculptures, and decorative pieces in hues that only pâte de verre can achieve.

Witness art in the making with an exclusive look into Daum’s factory in Nancy, France and explore our favorite Daum pieces here.

For Daum, since 1878, art is the ultimate luxury. Daum, the legendary glassmaker master, has kept alive for more than a century a love relationship with the greatest artists of its time, giving their work of art a second life of crystal and colors. From the Ecole de Nancy, from Art Nouveau to Art Decoratif, from Majorelle to Dali, George Braque and Arman, Daum has not missed any of the magic rendezvous of the artistic creation and modern savoir-faire, this always renewed alliance of art and art craft. Few brands will have worked with as many artists: within 130 years, more than 350 exceptional signatures have constituted a heritage beyond compare, a unique collection.

How to convey those works into crystal sculptures? This is where Daum’s secret is, shaper of the exception, highly knowledgeable workshop, laboratory of wonders, designer of incomparable objects. How does Daum obtain those moiré effects, that translucent mineral or frosted finish and those subtle harmonies peculiar to its pâte de cristal? Secrets of a traditional creative process, handed down from generation to generation. Although the pâte de verre technique has existed since Antiquity, Daum rediscovered it in 1968 when it invented a method of reworking it using crystal. This unique know-how is still employed today by the best master glassmakers. Casting a piece using this lost-wax process ensures the perfect regularity of its contours, which would be impossible to obtain using traditional crystal or glassblowing methods, as well as an instantly recognizable, grainy appearance.