This year we started our new consultancy center to answer all questions on glass and glass technology.
In our well equiped laboratory for prototyping we can test various solutions.
Glass trips to Istanbul
We have received many questions of those who would like to work with glass. Next year the Netherlands Museum for Glass and Glass Technology organize all inclusive glass trips to Istanbul in close co-operation with The Glass Furnace.
Go to work all week with glass together with Cees van Olst and the glass masters of The Glass Furnace.
Make your own beads, learn glass blowing from the oven, try fusing or glass casting into moulds, etc.
Day 1: departure to Istanbul, transport to The Glass Furnace, arrival at the campus. Available are 20 twin apartments and a swimming pool.
During this week we will daily work with glass. In the evenings we have a special program with traditional music and dance. Furthermore, we will organize afternoon trips to the Black Sea and a special full day program to visit Istanbul.
Go to the Grand Bazaar and visit the Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosk, etc.
Afterwards you can dine at the borders of the Bosporus.
In short: enjoy a whole week of Art and Culture.
Staying at the campus will include breakfast, lunch, evening meal, including two meals in two different traditional Turkish restaurants (where you get involved in preparing the dishes) and one time a barbecue meal.
This all is including transportation, excluding drinks.
For more information about traveling data and prices, please contact us by e-mail or telephone.
Ghana: the wonder of Krobo
Cees van Olst can rightly be called the authority on glass in the Netherlands. It was forty years ago when he first encountered glass blowing. Since then he has been fascinated by the immense potential that the transparent world of glass offers as a technician, as an international artist and as the director of the Netherlands Museum for Glass and Glass Technology. In 1991 he won the Young at Heart Award, an European prize for people who are working in an innovative way in the field of art and education. No wonder NMCP approached him of all people to go on a mission to Cedi Beads Industry in Ghana.
Cedi is in the village of Odumase at the foot of the Krobo Mountain. The business has nineteen employees and produces traditional glass beads which find their way all over the world. To begin with Van Olst wondered what was the point of him going there. “If you have been making beads for three hundred years you are apparently doing it well. What would I have to add?” But Cedi wanted to take a step forward. To enlarge their market share, to expand their knowledge and to increase their production line. Something with glass blowing? Now that was something that Van Olst could do. In 2002 he boarded for his first NMCP mission.
Arts and Crafts Centre
Cedi appeared to him to be a soundly organised, well-run business with hardworking people. Under thatched roofs the staff were busy making beads in wood-fired clay ovens. The process was simple: grinding down used bottles, putting them in mould, melting, cooling down and polishing with sand. But glass blowing is a different kettle of fish. It requires much higher temperatures so that the ovens have to be modified. How do you do that without additional resources? The NMCP expert had to resort to clay, some used car parts and his old basic knowledge of firing. A lot of improvisation in other words, but it was a success. And then the technique of glass blowing. You work with a blow pipe said Van Olst and you have to manoeuvre that in a very controlled way. It requires subtle hand-eye co-ordination and for the staff it was a completely new experience. You only really have full command of the technique of glass blowing after ten years, even after 42 years I am learning new things daily.”
After five days he had blown his first ball. Tears sprang to his eyes literally from the emotion of it all. In the period after that Van Olst gave a few hours of practical lessons every day, alternating with theory.
Anyone who thinks that the Dutch expert confined himself to advising a glass producing business only knows part of the story, because apart from the technique of glass blowing, Van Olst also involved himself with the marketing, searching for strategies to hold the interest of visiting tourists longer. He discussed with Mr Cedi the options of an arts and crafts centre, where craftsmen and artists from the region could work not only with glass but also with woodcarving, textiles, batik and ceramics. A tourist attraction where the regional population could show off their own culture. With workshops, shops, a museum, a restaurant and a hotel. But talking was not all that came of it for right now the ambitious complex is rising from the ground.
And the plans extend even further. The centre is going to give workshops to visitors, it has involved local singing and dance groups and is also busy renting out canoes on the nearby Lake Volta where the interesting waterfalls of Krobo are to be found, Van Olst modestly calls this ’doing something for the community’. He has insisted that part of revenue goes to the local hospital. And that is no luxury, because there they need everything, from hypodermic needles to operating tables. All they had was a single blood pressure meter. In the Netherlands he has managed to get hold of the equipment they needed, including twenty wheelchairs. With the help of various donations and own contributions Van Olst is having them shipped to Ghana. A Dutch heart surgeon friend, from Ghana, is helping him. His wife has now taken over the organisation of the hospital. They are raising additional funds. Meanwhile, Van Olst, during one of his follow-up visits to Cedi, has been in touch with the Krobo authorities. With suggestions for better accessibility for the hospital such as levelling the roads and installing lighting. In other words ‘doing something for the community’, and we are doing everything ourselves according to the NMCP expert.
If you want to support this project and you want to donate some money, The banknr. Is 399035346, Rabo Meppel in the name of Stichting Krobo Nederland.