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How Our Brand New, Exclusive Blue Glassware from Mosser Glass is Made

September 20, 2016

It's here, it's here! Our Mosser Glass cake stands, mixing bowls, and juicers are all wearing our new blue—a color that Mosser mixed up just for us, the first time they've done that for another brand in their history. It's a not-too-bright, not-too-deep blue that reminds us of clear, sunny skies (and the picnic to along with it).

With your help, we named the color Chelsea, paying homage to the neighborhood where our New York City offices are located. Here's a little bit more about Mosser, and a peek at how our new blue cake stands are made in their factory.

Our Chelsea, looking all dreamy (those cookies aren't looking so shabby, either). Photo by Alpha Smoot

Family-owned Mosser Glass has been in business since 1970, operating out of Cambridge, Ohio where they handcraft glossy, throwback serveware and dinnerware using vintage molds. We've carried their pieces since we opened our Shop, and they are some of our best-loved (by you and by us).

You could call us Mosser devotees.

After we stopped swooning and staring at our new Chelsea bowls and cake stands, we got curious: Just how does glassmaking work (though it looks like these beauties dropped from the clear blue skies)?

We asked Mosser if we could pretty please get a behind-the-scenes look—and they said yes!

Where the sausage (ahem, glassware) is made. Photo by Alicia Oblander

Mosser's workspace is equipped with five furnaces: two "day tanks," for firing smaller-batch pieces, and three assembly-line furnaces. The day tanks give the handler more control over the process, while the proper furnaces are for larger batches and big outputs.

On any given day, each furnace is firing a different color that's a product of a special chemical recipe. (That's one our Chelsea pieces being fired in the photo below!)

Chelsea is born! Well, almost. Photo by Alicia Oblander

To start off, a handler heats the raw sand up to a melting point of 2,500º F. (That's not a typo, and yes, that is very, very hot.)

Next, the mold itself is heated to a temperature of 1,000º F—a process that's started up to three hours before the glassmaking process even begins! Patience is key.

Molten glass is poured into a ready-and-waiting cake stand mold. Photo by Alicia Oblander

Next is what they call the pressing of the glass (sounds like a very important ceremonial tradition, doesn't it? In a way, it is!). A worker called "the gatherer" brings a specific amount of glass needed for a particular mold out of the furnace. You do not want to get in the way of this person—hot glass coming through!

The molten lava glass is then poured into the mold and pressed into the desired pattern. It only takes a few minutes for the mold to cool and then it's opened to reveal its prize inside: a brand new piece of glassware. (Look! There's a baby cake stand wearing our Chelsea blue, below.)

A newborn Chelsea cake stand, still warm from the mold. Photo by Alicia Oblander

Once the piece is been released from its mold, it'll still be a little warm. It needs additional time to harden and solidify, so it hangs out for a while at the factory and then gets some additional help cooling off from cold streams of air.

Catching a cool breeze. Photo by Alicia Oblander

The piece then goes through a glazer—its hot fire melts off the outermost layer of the glass (the part that touched the mold, which can be a little rough), leaving behind a super smooth, glossy finish.

It looks like this:

Amazing blazing glazing. Photo by Alicia Oblander

Now it's in the home stretch!

The final stage of glassmaking is called annealing, during which the finished piece cools off (very) slowly over the course of three and half hours. This gradual cool down keeps the glass from shattering or breaking.

There's the Chelsea cake stand gang, cooling off. Photo by Alicia Oblander

Ta da! Our perfect, glossy cake stand, in the dreamiest blue we ever did see.

Ain't she a beaut?

Excuse us while we stop and stare. Photo by Alicia Oblander

Whose workshop or factory would you like to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Marissa Lautzenheiser
    Marissa Lautzenheiser
  • sethchan
Olivia Bloom

Written by: Olivia Bloom

Has a soft spot for string cheese.


Marissa L. April 24, 2017
I Love that you picked Mosser Glass for a behind-the-scenes! I adore the company's products and loved visiting their shop in Cambridge OH.
sethchan September 20, 2016
Named after a porn star. Brilliant.