A Closer Look at Hebron Glass Blowing in Palestine

By Halal Trip | 06, Apr, 2017
Hebron glass is a type of hand-blown Phoenician glass that is produced in Hebron, a city in the West Bank in Palestine. It is used to make various other types of glassware and ceramics, and is one of the top attractions in Palestine.
 
Hebron glass products are internationally renowned for their unique style and quality. It is said to have been influenced by the European style-glassware, and has developed into its own unique style over the years.
 

A Breeze of History!

The glassblowing industry in Hebron began during the Roman rule, in 63 BC. Things made from Hebron glass like stained glass windows and glass artifacts dating all the way back from the 1st century are still available to be viewed today.

 
 

The glassblowing factories were one of the major sources of wealth for the owners. Even though it faced heavy competition from the imported European glassware, it grew in popularity with the locals and travelers. Description of Hebron’s glassware industry can be found in the notes of travelers as early as the 19th century.

 

How Is It Made?

Broken or discarded glass is the main raw material used in making Hebron glass. Although there have been claims that only the few Palestinian families who have been running the factories for centuries truly know the methods of producing Hebron glass, scientists deduct that the blowing technique is quite similar to the techniques used by ancient Phoenicians.

 

Nevertheless, visitors get to witness the artisans at work in different stages of the crafting process. The recycled glass is molten with the use of am earthenware furnace and an iron pipe, which is used to blow into a metal tool named kammasha, which helps manipulated the shape of the glass. Visitors also get to see others shaping utensils at the pottery wheel, painting and adding smaller details to the finished glassware.

 
 

Where to Find Hebron Glass Blowing in Palestine?

Today, three glassblowing factories populate the aptly named the “Glass-Blower Quarter”, which is situated slightly north of Hebron and south of Halhul, a neighboring town famous for its locally-produced household souvenir.

 

A visit to the Hebron Glass and Ceramics factory is one of the main activities for Muslim travelers in Palestine. It will let you experience the seasoned artisans hard at work crafting their masterpieces. You can take a guided tour, after which you can purchase a few items. A good tip is to bargain; the more things you buy, the more the sellers will be open to bargaining.

 

Why Hebron Glass and Pottery Ware is Worth Buying

Hebron glassblowing factories produce a wide variety of glass-blown ceramics, from household items like kitchen utensils and home décor products to jewelry and tiles. Each piece is beautifully designed with vibrant colors, floral patterns and motifs of lands.

One things for sure no matter what item it is: they all carry the tradition and resemblances of the original Hebron glass, dating back centuries. Not only do you get a unique, intricately-designed piece of craft, you also get a piece of history.

 

A Visit Is Truly Worth It!

Hebron ceramics is a tradition that has been longstanding and remains one of the top attractions in Palestine, despite the changes and tragedies the country has faced. This is also one of the only places in the world where you can get original Hebron glass blown products straight from the source. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity of witnessing the techniques and perhaps buying yourself a piece of the land back home with you.

 
 
 

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