Glass Museum Frauenau

Movement and change

They did not recognize borders. I've never heard of any glassmakers from Eleonorenhain that had any difficulties at the border.
The Poschinger or the Gistl would have written a letter saying that they want to take on someone, and setting out the terms of what he needed, a goblet maker for example. He replied that he could come on the 15th. And he would be sent 30 marks as travel money, and the woman and the child he could bring over later. If he wanted.

Glass cutter, born in 1907

The Killinger was a communist and the old Hirtreiter was something like a communist. He was the man who sorted out the glass shards, and before the break he would come into the workshop from Killinger. Politics was difficult at that time, and us boys they did not want to see. We have yet worked out what it was about. And the Hirtreiter at the time- things they said about Hitler: "This Gypsy", "The scoundrel!"
The Killinger, they then imprisoned him in the concentration camp; he was betrayed because of the English radio channel. And then they freed him again, since all helped together to get him out. They needed him because he helped the Hirtreiter with the engraving of the territorial eagles. He was just five weeks in Dachau.

Glass cutter, born in 1923

In 1981 I started in the Schott Zwiesel works and spent four years there. Then I spent a year at Rosenthal in Amberg. Because of love I came back again and then by chance read an advertisement that Theresienthal was looking for a glassblower. I responded to the advertisement and was taken on immediately.
My father was also glassblower and just wandered. For a time in the Regenhütte works, then to Ludwigsthal, he would stop into any situation where there was money to be made. That time is gone. Then, there was even a commuters' bus to Amberg, with wich they took the bavarian forest glass workers and drove up and back home on the weekend. Such they were then sought for!

Glassblower, born in 1965

We also demonstrated. We were on protest at the main works, going there by bus, when they wanted to lay us off. We have demonstrated, but it has not helped. Then, when we were first closed, we marched to the town square in Zwiesel, and again that has brought us nothing.
Later we went on strike in the works, made wildcat strikes because no salaries had been paid. We stopped work, again worked for a time, and striked again. It has brought us nothing. If there is no money, then the “Emperor has lost his rights”.

Glassblower, born in 1965

It was not easy to get good glassblowers to go over to the machine. The glassblower is a proud profession! And this silent rivalry between the crystal glass works and the glass machine works was always there. The glassmakers looked a bit down, not up. "What do you want with me there?" That was the classic question.

Company director, born in 1935

There are handmade glasses that you cannot distinguish from machinery glasses. Each cup should be the same. But yes, a glassblower has to feel the glass out of the furnace! He pulls the stem with a template, and yes it can even be larger by two millimeters. That's actually what makes handwork. Manual work is done by hand and is not machine work.

Glass painter, born in 1965, glass engraver, born in 1962

Today, in the era of globalization, what is expected with pin pointed accuracy is that the whole world is in competition: low-wage countries and large machinery glassworks. This makes it particularly difficult for the craft, because special techniques can no longer be executed. These are still being taught, but then you can forget it again immediately. Precisely because it is taking too long to do and thus too expensive.

Glass engraver, born in 1962

If one does all day in the show factories, blowing little bubbles - this is not a glassblower for me, it has nothing to do with the glass making. This is tourism that is turning people upside down.
Factory sales with a glassblower! Where is the work? We live only for sales. And the hand work and the profession glassmakers are dying.

Glassblower, born 1946

The worst case picture that you can paint, yes you can imagine how it is then in fifty to a hundred years. Then it will only be some witches houses, fairgrounds, and signs saying "Glassworks", and stuffed animals, and that will be it.
The positive light will be that you can look at the history of Frauenau in the glass museum.

Glass painter, born in 1965, glass engraver, born in 1962

I had trained at the glass school and as an apprentice in the Eisch glass works. With my training as a glass designer, and also from my feeling, I would not go back to work an eight hours shift doing piece work in a glass works. There was just the stimulus to go into the glass art glass world.
In 1990, when I finished, there was with a spirit of optimism. Although the fall of the wall was yet to come, there was a lot going on at this time. Also, there had been the fall of the Berlin wall - in this atmosphere we simply decided we do a workshop together, to be self-employed.

Glass cutter and artist, born 1966

In the eighties, it was also that some glass works died, and at the very same time, for example, the Eisch glass works also had a successful time. That was because they fitted in with the spirit of the time! Also, with Erwin Eisch and his massive effect, his weight in America.
At the same time those who were still stuck in the old ways, and maybe more committed to the traditional, with them things didn't go so well.
Then it was the time of the Frauenau Glass Symposia. And suddenly you've got the whole world in this 3,000-strong village. There were not here as tourists, but they were the glass artists of the scene. It is as if you are a painter, and suddenly the Picasso is with you in the living room or sleeping in the neighborhood. That was fantastic, the whole atmosphere, that madness! Suddenly they came here, with their long braids, and of course have been celebrated since without end. Suddenly the studio glass movement was present here, and not just a concept of America - it happened here!

Glass painter, born 1966, glass cutter, born 1957

Somewhere in me is a sadness because the whole glass industry is actually becoming broken. There was an incredible force when two, three or four hundred people worked in a factory there - we have never seen it so since.
It is a misery when a glass factory closes. You have to take that. That gives you a blow. It just hurts when a works closes. Because once the furnace is extinguished it is all over.

Glass cutter, born in 1966