Prices and add to cart buttons may be found at the very bottom of this page. Please review this information before buying.
How to Use
Easily insert any flowers into our finest, elegant and unique, hand-blown clear glass swan vases for quick, wedding, quinceanera, bridal or baby shower centerpieces. We have sold more hand made clear glass swans than any retailer on the internet for over 10 years. Each of our exquisite, clear glass swan centerpiece is hand-made just for you by our talented glass blowing artist. Swans mate for life so for weddings, anniversaries and showers, they are a perfect symbol of love. For other events or gifts, our swans are visions of simple elegance, beauty and grace.
Review product details on this page FIRST, before buying. To buy, go to bottom of this page.
Details & More Photos Below
Prices at Page Bottom
We provide this extensive information because we are an honest business that only wants to sell to customers who are well informed about their purchase, before (not after) they buy.
These exquisite, clear glass swan vases are not churned out by the dozens by mold, but are each, individually hand-blown by our talented glass artist ... just for you. Because they are hand-blown, they can only be made in relatively small quantities. The odds are high that neither you nor your guests have ever seen these swans at another event.
These swans are actually hand-shaped from an amazingly sheer, hollow glass which allows for an incredible crystal-clarity when completely filled (all the way up to the head) with water! As you can see, when filled with water, it looks like solid-glass, however ... solid-glass could never be this clear!.No two are positively identical. Each is one of a kind. Further down this long page, you will find more information on their unique design as well as photographs of them empty of water and flowers
Our GlassSwans Are Not in Stores.
You will not find our swans on store shelves anywhere, because we do not sell them at better prices to distributors or retailers.
Don't be fooled by others who say they use our glass blowing artist.
Each clear glass swan is made by the same glass artist for consistency in look from vase to vase. We don’t mind saying that our swans are the finest and are priced accordingly. We've been around for over 10 years and have provided glass swan vases for tens of thousands of events. See our testimonials page. Your event deserves the best.
Two Swans Facing Can Form a Semi-Heart Shape
As pictured above, two glass swans of the same size can form a heart-like shape for a lovely larger and longer arrangement suitable for round or long tables. Examine this photo for an example of some slight variations between vases. Although both hand-blown swans are of the same Curved Neck style, they are not identical.
There are slight differences between these particular two vases in curvature of the neck, shape and angle of head, length of beak, etc. Due to the beautiful differences between swans, every swan vase will not match every other swan to form a pair. To use two swans together to form a semi-heart shape at each table, you must choose your matches (from those ordered) in order to pair those that are most similar in height and curvature of the neck.
Perfect for Fairytale Affairs:
- Wedding Reception
- Engagement Party
- Bridesmaids Luncheon
- Anniversary Party
- Mother's Day Brunch or Dinner
- Valentine's Day Party
- Bat Mitzvah
- Sweet 16
- Coming Out Party
- Garden Parties
- Sweet 15
- Swan Theme Wedding
- Swan Theme Party
- ... Any Romantic Event!
Another option for creating larger, more lush swan vase arrangements is to place a single glass swan atop a regular, round floral "platform". A florist (or yourself if you are creative) can create one by cutting common green florists foam into the desired shape and size (round is preferable), wetting it and then covering it entirely by inserting fresh flowers. The platform can be a few inches high or several inches high, but the top should be flat and left bare of flowers. On the flat top, place one of our 10" or 12" round or octagon display mirrors on which you will sit your swan centerpiece arrangement. You sit our small 7" swan on top or better yet, our 9" or 12" swan.
Use Clear or Custom Colors!
Most customers use our lovely swan vases filled with crystal clear water, however, ordinary food coloring can work magic should you choose to give your glass swans a hint of color. The four basic colors of food coloring can be blended to create a custom color to compliment your wedding colors or flowers. In our opinion, just a hint of color usually provides the most elegant look. A hint of blue, lavender or peach food coloring in the water may be just the touch.
How They Are Made
First, thin hollow glass tubes are heated at extremely high temperatures until soft. Our glass blowing artist then labors over each one with his hands to form a handblown glass swan. The body is formed by forcing air into the softened glass tube. Finally, while still soft, the shapes of the head and neck are artfully hand-molded. The glass quickly cools and hardens. Creating these lovely glass vases in not a skill, but truly an art. Creating this type of glass swan (without deformity, breakage and wasted materials) is not easily accomplished by even the most experienced glass artist. Be aware that although they seem relatively simple, they are quite complex to make completely by hand. Our glass artist has been making them for years and he is the absolute best.
The amazingly sheer, thin glass used is perfect for our swan vases because they are designed to completely water-fill (including the neck and head). This thinness allows them to be made completely hollow for a crystal clarity when filled with water that is not possible with thicker glass or solid glass. Thicker glass would look "clunky", less graceful and far less clear when filled with water, losing the delicate, sheer, elegant appearance. In addition, heavier glass requires much higher heating temperatures to soften and shape and our glass blowing artists could never withstand that kind of heat. With a thin glass layer and water filling the entire center, your swans almost appear to be made entirely of crystal-clear water ... ... exquisite!
The hollow design make our lovely vases exquisitely delicate on their own, however, once filled with water, they gain a weight and substance similar to solid glass, but with a more clear appearance. Although handcrafting costs considerably more, it is necessary and preferable. Our swans possess a graceful quality; manufacturing them in a factory, by mold would produce a gaudy, chunkier swan with a thick neck that would destroy it's delicate, elegant appearance. The ability to completely water-fill, including the neck and head would also be lost. Experts in the field agree that a look this graceful is not easy to accomplish and is virtually impossible to create by mechanical mold without breakage.
Each Swan is a Unique Creation
Because each of our swan vases is individually hand-made and not mass-produced by mold, it is impossible for two swans to be absolutely identical.
It is equally impossible for any type of artist to make identical duplications of his work. There will be slight variations, which is a preferable quality over clone-like reproductions. Just as with real, live swans, there are slight differences between swan vases of the same basic style. As with any sculpture, these differences are in no way to be considered defects, but evidence of their labor intensive, artistic creation. Each centerpiece vase is slightly different in some very minor way.
For example: heads, beaks or necks may be longer, lower or at a slightly different angle, etc. However, we keep the styles uniform and try to keep the sizes as close to uniformity as possible without losing the desired uniqueness between vases. Sizes are usually within one forth of an inch of the dimensions stated below on this page. For an example of the unique differences between two vases of the same basic style and size, scroll down this page. Examine the photo of two swans facing to form a semi-heart shape, shown above. Although they are of the same, basic, curved neck style and look alike, each is slightly different (curvature of the neck, size of head, length of beak, angle of head, etc.).
Water-Fills, Up to Head
The large photo at the top of this page shows one of our swan vases decorated with flowers and completely filled with water for a look similar to solid glass. This photo shows just one example of a simple flower arrangement that can be achieved. It is sitting on a plain edged display mirror. For similar mirrors, select our plain 12" round mirrors. If you will be using our 10" swan vases, then you can use 10" or 12" round mirrors. In actuality, larger mirrors look better beneath the swan vases than smaller mirrors.
The blue photo above shows both curved neck and straight neck style swans when EMPTY of WATER. We no longer do the Straight neck, swan, just the popular curved one with the S shape. You will see that without water, they are hollow with a delicate, almost sheer appearance. They must be filled with water to take on a crystal-clear, more solid-glass look as pictured in all photos of our swans with water and flowers. The look is very much like solid-glass, but clearer. When water-filled, they gain the substance and weight of solid-glass.
All photos of our hand blown glass swan vases are actual examples of what can be achieved with the simplest, most basic floral designs; a talented florist can achieve an unlimited number of unique designs.
Mirrors do not come with vases, but can be found in the "Display Mirrors" section of our store. More information on mirrors can be found below on this page. These swans make elegant accents for, guest tables, buffet or guest book tables,gift table, head table, etc
Glass Swan Arrangement Becomes Lovely Gift to Give Afterwards
Ordinary floral centerpieces fade and leave no memories. Our graceful swan theme centerpieces serve two purposes; uniquely elegant focal points for tables and gorgeous complete arrangements to give as gifts after the event. The swan vases can be re-filled with flowers again and again to brighten any room.
You can give the complete arrangements as lovely gifts to your most special guests, bridesmaids, maid of honor, mothers of the bride and groom or guest of honor, etc. Unlike with most ordinary centerpieces, there will be no need to suggest someone take home the centerpieces.
Your guests will rave over them and ask to take them home. If not given to special guests, consider raffling each glass swan with it's floral arrangment off to one guest per table, which is fair to everyone. This can be achieved by placing a small tag under a seat at each table to designate the winner (this works with assigned or unassigned tables, but not with assigned seats).
Friends or even bridesmaids can prepare swan centerpiece arrangements the day before the event. Be sure to visit the "Design Ideas" page by clicking the link located beneath the navigation bars at the top of any page of our site. Here you will find tips for achieving the most lovely, professional results.
Once your swans are filled with water and a professional quality combination of flowers and greenery (bouquets in wedding magazines can give you some ideas), finish the look with decorative accessories of your choosing; for example, elegant ribbon, display mirrors, candles, etc.
Formal or Casual: Swan Vases are Flexible
Besides their unique elegance and grace and promising rave reviews from your guests, our swan vases are flexible. Create elegant arrangements to suit your event, whether outdoors, casual, formal or in-between. Unlimited combinations of flowers and foliage and decorative accents create an unlimited variety of possible looks. Swans at no two events need look the same. The expense of your arrangements is also flexible because the variety and quality of the flowers you choose determine most of the cost.
The national average cost for ordinary fresh flower arrangements without swan vases is $80 each. Prices go up from there to hundreds of dollars each for lush, elaborate arrangements. Most of this cost is in the labor and expertise of the florist. Swans are far less labor intensive than common floral centerpieces because they are "vase-based" arrangements. Some florists will reflect this fact in their prices for preparing "vase-based" centerpieces. Many people agree that no centerpiece is more lovely or elegant than one in an exquisite, clear glass vase.
Try them and you will see that no other centerpiece is more memorable. No matter how large or elaborate common centerpieces may be, most guests only look at and admire them once or twice during the meal, but have no desire to ask to take one home. They are quickly forgotten. Watch and see, there will be no need to suggest taking your swan arrangements home. Not one will remain unwanted on your tables. In fact, you will probably look around afterwards and simply discover that they are gone. Be sure to keep one out of view for yourself.
Some Swan Vase Customer Testimonials
(more swan details below testimonials)
I made swan centerpieces the day before my wedding. We used single swans for the guest tables and two swans to form a heart for the head table. The head table was long, so we placed single swans on each end before our honor attendants. All of the tables were gorgeous. Even though I had planned to give each one to a specific guest (our mothers, attendants, etc.), half of my swans mysteriously vanished from the tables and 2 guests argued over the last two! I didn't even get to keep one for myself! I should have done the raffle to avoid the fuss. Everyone commented on how lovely they were.
Cindy H., Bridgeport, CT
My colors were navy and silver so I had my florist fill the swans with dark blue water (drops of custom blended food coloring) and all white flowers, they were on round display mirrors with 3 small votive candles on each centerpiece. It was so beautiful! I hope you can get a good idea. Okay I will scoot for now ... Again thank you for ALL YOUR WONDERFUL HELP, I truly appreciate all that you did to assist me, you were priceless! Let me know what you think (of my photos).
Mrs. Jennifer G., Plantation FL
I used your swans for my wedding in October. They were a HUGE hit!! Everyone loved them, especially me! but me & my maid of honor ended up being the ones that left the reception without a centerpeice! I loved them and they gave the touch of elegance I was looking for!
Melinda A., Old Greenwich, CT
For More Testimonials, CLICK HERE
Insert Fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers are the best choice, however, to use silk flowers, you will still need to fill the swans with water because they are designed as a hollow glass shell in order to completely fill with water for crystal clarity. You cannot use them unfilled. This goes for all sizes including the favor sizes. If you insist on using silks instead of fresh flowers, just trim the leaves from the stems and insert into the water. The water will not hurt the false stems.
Exact dimensions vary from vase to vase and are approximate due to hand-made nature, but are usually within 1/4 of an inch of those stated in sections below. Use a ruler so that you may truly visualize each of the following sizes in height from bottom to top and length from front to tail.
12" Centerpiece Swans: Curved Neck Only - We no longer offer the swan with the beak pointing up as shown in the blue picture above. 12" is our preferred size if you will be using individual swans on each table. Can be used on Bride's table, buffet, guest book and gift tables. Two curved neck swans placed face to face can sometimes form a lovely semi-heart shape ... this can be lovely on the head table or for a larger guest table arrangement. Be sure to read about how to select the best matches from your swans if you intend to form semi-heart shapes. Height and curvature of the neck/head requires you to find the best-matched pairs. Both Curved and Straight Neck 12" swans range in heights from approximately 11.5" inches - 12" inches tall. Front to tail length range from approximately 10.25" inches - 11" inches long.
9" Inch Centerpiece Swans: Curved Neck Only - Smaller size glass swan suitable for guest tables, buffet, gift and guest book tables. This size is also nice if you intend to place 2 or more swans on a table, for example: single swans spaced far apart along the length of a long, rectangular table. Use one alone or two together to form a semi-heart shape. We think this is a great size for a lovely Sweet 15 centerpiece or Quinceanera table decoration. Many customers use this size even on an 8 or 10 person table. Curved Neck 9" swans range in heights from approximately 8.75" inches tall - 9" inches tall. The front to tail length is approximately 7.5" to 8" long.
7" Swans: Curved Neck Only - Use more than one of these on a table, combine with a regular floral arrangement (such as atop a floral pedestal or use in addition to lots of candles and rose petals. Two can be placed face to face (forming a semi-heart shape). In our opinion, these are not large enough to use alone as a centerpiece. This is also the better size choice if you intend to cluster favors together in the center of a table as a centerpiece that "breaks up" into guest favors afterwards. They range in heights from approximately 6.5" inches - 7" inches tall. Front to tail length is approximately 6.5" inches long.
The Cost of each Glass Swan is Not in the Glass
Glass is not very expensive; the cost of our vases is in the crafting labor that it takes to produce them. You are in actuality, paying for the manufacturing process, not the glass. We have priced them at the best possible price, considering the work, time and intense heat involved in creating each one.
Our swans are not mass manufactured in overseas factories where labor and materials are inexpensive. It simply costs us more to have these swans completely produced by hand, here in the United States. Our profit per vase is small. We appreciate your understanding that our prices are already set with larger quantity purchases in mind. You can be assured that we are offering you our best possible retail price for these exquisite vases. Although cheap, ill shaped, poor imitators of our swans have been sighted, they are not the same as ours. Our artist is the best, our swans are truly the largest, most graceful swans available anywhere at this price. Your wedding is once in a lifetime and deserves the best. Don’t settle for less.
Our swans are not "discount items". The prices listed above apply to orders of all quantities. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer general discounts based on the quantity of vases ordered due to the handmade nature of the product. Our talented artists work harder and longer in intense heat to hand shape 35 vases than 5 vases. Unlike with items that are made by machine, the cost of producing our vases does not decrease with an increase in quantity.
Typical orders for us are between 20 and 50 vases. If you will need more than 60 centerpiece sized vases (10" or 12") please call us before ordering so that we can possibly find a better, more cost effective delivery method for you.
We guarantee your satisfaction. By placing an order (through our web site or by fax, phone or mail) for us to produce and ship your swan vases, you are protected by and accept our solid Guarantee, Return & Cancellation policy. Full details of your protection and terms of sale can be found on the Store Policies Page
Minimum Order Information
The minimum order for any size swans is 1 case. Prices are PER EACH SWAN in the case. Please understand that our minimum order requirements are due to high production and handling costs. Because each vase is labor intensive and expensive (in relation to their selling price) to produce, our profit per vase is small and processing each order is also time consuming and expensive.
For these reasons, it is not cost effective for us to have hand-produced and ship just one or two vases. We cannot process orders for one vase or those that otherwise do not meet the minimums. If you do not understand the minimum requirements, please e-mail us.
Broken Case Fee
The Broken Case fee is for orders of swans that are ABOVE the minimum order requirement of 1 Case, but BELOW a full second case. For example: 1 case of 12" swans is 8 swans. Someone orders 12 swans. It is above 8 (minimum order), but below 16 swans (2 cases). The broken case fee applies ($15) which helps cover the additional shipping cost required to put the additional items in their own separate box and ship. The broken case fee cannot be used to place a below minimum order.
Swans Ship Well, Damage is Rare. DO NOT PANIC!
If you receive a broken vase (unlikely), PLEASE DO NOT PANIC. We strongly recommend that you order at least ONE or TWO EXTRA of each size that you need. Ordering a couple of extras protects you in case your florist or someone else drops or otherwise breaks one just before the event. We require you to mail back any swan damaged in shipping for a refund of the broken piece. We no longer send replacement swans. If you need more after having been refunded for any damaged, you would have to re-order. Re-orders due to damage receive priority status to ship out within 1 week in most cases.
It is a good idea to order at least 3 months before your event so there is time to return any possibly damaged item for a replacement before your event.
They arrive wrapped and cushioned in lots of paper because bubble wrap and other cushioning can exert additional pressure to the swans. We have found this method to be quite effective for shipping them safely. In any case, you need not worry about them arriving intact. In the highly unlikely event of one arriving broken, you would simply need to notify us by e-mail or fax within 24 hours of delivery. Upon receiving return of the damaged item, we would refund you for any items damaged in shipping. Again, damage is not typical, but rare.
Please enter your ship to address and contact information completely and accurately. Incorrect shipping addresses are the full responsibility of the customer if incorrect. Provide a day and evening phone number if possible, in case FedEx needs to contact someone regarding delivery. Please be sure to indicate in your order form if your ship to address is a residence or a business, because we must specify whether to ship Home Delivery or commercial. The commercial division WILL NOT deliver to a residence. You MUST specify if it is a business address in the address on your order form. If shipping to a business, include the floor and department number if applicable. We cannot ship to post office boxes.
Our system will calculate your shipping cost and give the total during checkout. If you then add more vases, be aware that you must click the "recalculate" button so that the system will re-calculate your shipping cost. If you do not do this, the rate will not be accurate and we would notify you by e-mail.
Because your order must be added to our list of orders that must each be hand-produced, production and delivery time combined is approximately 2 - 3 weeks unless you add the expedited production and delivery option to your order. For this reason, we specify that delivery can be expected in 3 weeks. If you pay by mailed in check, this will be 6 weeks from the date we receive your check, not the date you enter the information in online.
If you must have your order sooner at additional fee, please go to the bottom of the swan ordering page and add the Expedited Production option only once to your shopping cart. You can select either approximately 14 business days or if available, approximately 7 business days. If you need them with an expedited production option and intend to pay by mail check, be sure to send a certified check or money order as regular checks can take up to 14 days to clear.
How to Tell if You Need Priority or Expedited Production/Delivery Option
As a general rule, it is best to order no less than 3 months before your event date. Order further ahead if at all possible. Ordering no less than 3 months ahead allows 2 - 3 weeks for production and delivery and provides a cushion of almost 3 months.
Extra time before your event allows a few weeks for your florist to experiment with possible arrangements and also allows a few weeks in case an emergency arises and you need a few additional vases. Some examples of such emergencies: additional guests added to your guest list requiring more tables; breakage of a vase by you or your florist; breakage of a vase in shipping. If you order too close to your event date, there may be no time to ship replacements. For these reasons, it is best to order no less than 3 months in advance.
If you have less than 6 weeks before your event, we recommend that you add an Expedited Production option to your order. The swans will ship via the same shipping method, but will get produced faster so they can ship sooner. The added cost is $25 (per order, not per vase!). This will get your order placed in front of other orders that came in before it so that they can get through our production department within 14 business days after the date you placed your order. Once that is done, they should deliver within approximately 3 or 4 days. We also offer approimately 7 business days production at $45 per order added charge. This is not always available, however, if you need it, please add it to your order. We will email you immediately if there is a problem.
How to Check Your Order Status
You can go on the Check Order Status Page of our site; enter your billing zip code and your order number (sent to you automatically when you place your order). If you do not see your status, you will need to send us an e-mail or fax.
Our telephone order takers do not have access to all order information after an order is placed. To determine your expected delivery time, please see the "Delivery Time" information on this page. If you must check on the status of an order, please send an e-mail or fax it to us at the fax number found on our "Contact Us" page located.
Please include the name on the credit card used to place the order and the order number given when you completed your order. Order status requests are responded to within 24 hours. If you telephone for an order status, our sales person or our voicemail can take your name and order number and pass it on to the appropritate person who can respond to your request.
Responses for order status requests will not be telephoned, but emailed in response. The status request will be e-mailed to the e-mail address provided in your order information. If you do not have an e-mail address, fax us the status request and we will fax you back at the number provided within 24 hours.
Non Continental U.S. Orders
If you seek to place an order to ship outside the continental U.S. (including to Puerto Rico and Hawaii), please visit our Shipping Policy page located in the Customer Service section of our site. Our system will not calculate shipping outside the continental U.S. We have shipped in one order alone, over 300 swans to a ballet company in Germany with only 6 broken. That's amazing for the distance and huge number to one customer in one order.
We no longer sell display mirrors. You can find many online. An easy way to save cash is to simply go to Lowes or Home Depot hardware type stores and go into the bathroom section or mirror section. There, you can ask for "mirror tiles". They are sold in boxes of 6 or 8 or 10 and if you get the "non-beveled" ones, they should cost about $1.50 - $2 per mirror. They are 12" inch square, but if you place your swan on the mirror with the beak pointing to one corner of the square and the tail pointing to the opposite corner, it fools the eye into thinking it sees a diamond instead of a square! Cheap and fantastic.
Another option is to head to your local Michaels or Joanne' craft stores where they sell the more common round 12" and 14" round centerpiece mirrors. They are no better for the purpose but will cost you probably 3 - 4 x as much. Just fool the eye with the square instead! They are a great size for the 12" swans or 10" swans and if using two swans facing, you can slide two squares together to make a rectangle for both to use with space around them. You can't even see the seam in the middle where the two mirrors meet flush. We hope this tip helps.
MUST READ BEFORE PURCHASE
Because we are a business that you can trust, we provide all of the pertinent details about our products. Please be aware that although lovely, they are not designed to be left empty and undecorated. They must be COMPLETELY filled up to the head with water for a solid-glass look and to give more weight to prevent accidental knocking over. These swans are foundations for building creative, personalized arrangements. Without decoration, you have a hollow glass shell in the shape of a swan. Although, still lovely, they will not reach their true potential until properly decorated.
Get a ruler or tape measure out and visualize exactly what approximately 9", 12" or 7" really looks like before ordering. None of the sizes, including the 12" will obscure the view across a table. Every average height guest will be able to see and converse just fine with any of our swans on the table.
The swan may look too small for the mirror if sat on a mirror while empty and undecorated, however, once flowers are added, the arrangement gains width and volume and will look just right on the mirror, especially after you add a few votive candles and or rose petals on the mirror. A larger, more spacious mirror beneath an arrangement (especially one of our swans) is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than a small mirror.
The photos of these swans with flowers show real examples of the possibilities of your creations when embellished by water-filling and decorating with flowers, elegant ribbon, mirrors if desired, etc. When your swans arrive, they of course, have no water or flowers and therefore will not look complete as in our photos. They were designed for you to complete their character and make them truly yours. Whether for an elegant, airy and outdoors event or for a formal evening meal, a good florist can create a custom look that you will love.
When they arrive, be sure to first fill one all the way up to the head with water to see how they really do take on a solid-glass appearance (only clearer), then imagine your handmade swans in the creative light of when they are complete. Have your florist create a sample arrangement so that you can see what lovely arrangements they can be used to create. View your sample arrangement with mirrors and in lighting similar to what you expect at your event. If applicable, use candles to get the full effect. Candles add a wonderful shimmering effect to sparkling clear glass and mirrors. No arrangement (nor any person for that matter) looks the same in the stark light of day as by romantic candlelight.
For helpful tips on decorating your swans, be sure to visit the "Design Ideas" page of our site before you leave. Print it out as well as this page to read at your leisure.
Order a Few More Than You Need
We strongly recommend that you order at least ONE or TWO EXTRA of each size that you need. If you can order more extra than that, it is always good to do so. This is not because we just want to sell you one or two more swans (our profit on one or two vases is relatively small). Ordering a couple of extras protects you in case your florist or someone else drops or otherwise breaks one just before the event.
By having some back ups, in the worst case scenario, you would not be left with elegant swan vase arrangements on 19 tables and a cactus plant on the 20th table! You don't want to be caught short even one swan. Rest assured that any extras you have will be snapped up by guests clamoring to take one home. It happens every time. No one has any unwanted, unclaimed swans left. Many of our customers tell us that they did not have enough to satisfy all the guests who wanted one and end up ordering extra after the event to give as promised to certain people!
We REFUND for any Swan Damaged in Shipping & Returned to Us:
Damage must be reported by EMAIL in WRITING Within 24 hrs. of Delivery
It is also wise to order at least one or two extra so that in the very rare event of one arriving damaged in shipping, you would not have to send back any damaged items for refund, re-order a few more and wait 1 - 2 weeks or so for your new order after returning the damaged swan. Again, breakage in shipping is rare, but not impossible. We ship these vases all over the country from one end to the other with great success. In any event, YOU RISK NOTHING as all orders are sent carefully packaged and insured for their value.
Payment Options & How To Order
You can pay by Visa, MasterCard or by Fax Check or by MAIL CHECK. To pay by check, enter all information online, choose the "Check by Mail" option and immediately fax to our phone number or mail a check with a copy of your order. Check orders do not ship until checks have cleared. Orders are not considered placed until payment is received. Delivery will be approximately 3 - 4 weeks after payment is received. We allow an extra week for your check to clear before having your swans made.
Checks must be received within 7 BUSINESS days of placing the tentative order online. Tentative orders are cancelled after 7 business days if no check has been received. A new order would then need to be placed online. You can also place your order by phone. Just give us a call and leave a detailed voice message. We will call you back.
If you need your order with one of the expedited production options, it is better to send a certified check or money order to avoid check clearance time. In many cases, we will call the bank branch on the check to assure that funds are available, before adding the order to our production schedules.
Credit Card Payment: Please Note
If you pay by credit card (because you are asking us to handmake the swans for you) your card may be charged IMMEDIATELY or within a few days, however, you will not receive your swans for 6 weeks from the date you placed your order. You may see the charge on your card statement long before your swans arrive. This is normal. If there is trouble charging a credit card, this may delay an order beyond the approximately 2 - 3 weeks from. We contact customers by e-mail or phone if we have trouble processing a card for any reason.
The safest, most expedient way to place your order is through our web site, which is completely secure. You can find out more about our security by going to the "Store Policies" section of our site and going to our Security page. If you prefer not to send credit card or checking account information over the internet, please place the items that you want in your shopping cart. When you go through checkout, you will be given a choice of how you want to pay for your order. Simply select Visa/MC by Fax/Phone/Mail" option and continue through checkout. It will require you to enter all information except the card account number online. You then print out the receipt pages and fax or mail them with the card number filled in by hand and signed. You can also call us with your order number and give the credit card number by phone.
If you have any difficulty placing your order through our system, please print out your completed order form and fax it to us or call us to place your order by phone. If we are unable to take your call at the moment (which does happen because most of our orders are done online) we will call you back promptly. We receive lots of e-mails, but rarely receive phone calls and don't have much need for phone order takers. If you don't get a live person, please leave a message stating you need to place an order and we will return your call promptly. Leaving a message for us to callback will get you faster attention than hanging up and calling back. If you hang up without leaving a message, we may never know that you called. We check our messages frequently, so please leave one if you don't get someone on your first call. For product questions, it is fastest to send us an e-mail. We respond to e-mails several times per day and will respond promptly.
Prices & How to Order
To order, review product details here FIRST, then go to bottom of this page to buy.
All Prices are Per Swan / Each - Please order in the Specified Multiples
Swans are ordered by placing the desired quantity in the shopping cart, using the add to cart buttons at bottom of this page. Please order in multiples designated for the size swan you desire. For example, 12" swans can fit 8 to a case. For this reason, please order in multiples of 8. Prices are per swan so for a case of 8, add quantity of 8 to the cart. You can also order other multiples of 8 on the 12" swan, for example: 16, 24, 32, etc. If you need an odd number that is NOT a multiple of 8 on that swan, it is fine, however please note that a broken case fee of $15 will then be manually added to your order total and billed to the card given.
For example, you do not want two cases of 8 for a total of 16 of the 12" swans. You then order 10 swans. This is ok since it meets the minimum order of 8 swans, however, a $15 broken case fee would be added. If the order contained 8 swans or 16 swans, etc., this fee does not apply.
Swan Theme Poems
Click here to visit our Swan Theme Page for several swan theme poems which you can print on parchment paper to insert in wedding invitations, add to guest gift baskets or print on swan themed favor tags.
A Brief History of Lampworking
by Robert A. Mickelsen
Although there is no real way to accurately determine the age of lampworking because many of the techniques associated with working glass at a flame were established long before the first lamp, or burner, was developed; lampworking as we know it today was born with the Italian Renaissance. Angelo Barovier, working on Murano, created, "cristallo" -- a clear soda glass -- in 1450. As chemical science developed through the inquiries of alchemists, there arose a concurrent need for clear, durable vessels to contain, mix, and measure components. No material was better suited for the task than this new clear glass. The first apparati were primitive and not really precise. Off-hand, pipe, glass blowing was poorly suited for making the necessary objects: Off-hand techniques simply could not provide the precision demanded and the energy demands for full scale furnace work seemed wasteful of a tremendous amount of energy and natural resources (glass furnaces were fueled by cutting down the forests of Europe) to produce such small things.
The search for precision led (al)chemists to technical advancements: by forcing a narrow stream of air into the flame of an oil lamp, sufficient heat could be generated to soften and work small pieces of glass. However, this stream of air had to be continuous to yield the desired results. At first the fledgling lampworkers actually blew through a tube directed at the flame, but dizziness brought on by hyperventilation made this solution good only for very short periods. The next step was a hand bellows, but this did not produce a constant stream of air as the bellows had to be released in order to refill with air for the next pump, and it made modeling difficult as the craftsman had to hold it in one of his hands. These drawbacks were overcome by adding an expandable bladder to the bellows and developing a foot bellows which allowed the worker to use both hands at all times.
The versatility of this new technology was quickly apparent and gave the lampworker several important advantages over the glassblower. Because the lampworker was able to selectively heat the object by directing the flame at a specific area, he could realize exacting procedures which were extremely difficult for the off-hand glassblower, who could only reheat the entire piece all at once. Additionally, as the energy demands of lampworking were just a tiny fraction of those of glassblowing, it was much more economical and lampworked creations could be afforded by common people.
By the beginning of the 18th century localized industries devoted to making small items for public consumption had sprung up all over Europe. The town of Nevers, France, was noted for tiny figurines of people and farm animals which were so popular that their production continued until the beginning of this century. The village of Lauscha, Germany, was entirely employed in the making of Christmas ornaments at the lamp. Venice itself employed lampworking techniques in making beads and millefiori, tiny murrines that looked like flowers.
At the turn of the 20th century the Polish father and son team, Rudolph and Leopold Blaschka, combined to create what is arguably the most stunning example of lampwork the world has ever seen. They were already well known for their glass models of marine life when Virginia Ware of the Harvard Botanical Museum commissioned them to undertake a mammoth project, the creation of detailed botanical models of every known variety of common plant in Europe. Using only a simple bellows-driven lamp and a variety of home-made tools, the Blaschkas produced the models with wire frameworks to give them structure and enamels and paints to duplicate the coloration and texture of the plants. For the next thirty years they created some 800 models. The results were stunning! The models are so lifelike that even close scrutiny cannot distinguish between the glass and the "real thing". Most are still on display at Harvard's Peabody Museum. To this day, no one has ever succeded in reproducing the Blaschkas's techniques or in duplicating the quality of their work.
The demand for refined scientific instruments continued unabated through the 19th century. Although equipment and tools became more sophisticated, the basic material -- the glass formulas -- were the same as when invented more than 200 years before. Therefore, the apparati were prone to leaching when exposed to caustic chemicals and had a tendency to shatter when repeatedly heated and cooled. In 1924 scientists working at the glass factories in Corning, New York, invented a new, more resilient glass which was composed of a large percentage of uncombined silica, used boron instead of soda or lead, and contained a small percentage of aluminum for clarity. This new borosilicate glass, named Pyrex, has a very low coefficient of expansion and is very resistant to thermal and physical shock. As it is about 15% lighter by volume than traditional glass, but much stronger, Pyrex was ideal for apparati. However there was one problem: the melting temperature was so high that the forced-air lamps could not melt the glass and the material could not be worked. Borrowing from the welding trade and combining oxygen and natural gas, new burners were designed that produced a flame of sufficient heat to melt Pyrex; and torches clamped to the lampworker's bench top replaced traditional oil lamps. These too were eventually replaced by the modem surface-mix bench burners in use today.
The advent of Pyrex revolutionized lampworking in north America. Although developed for scientific instruments, Pyrex soon found its way into the hands of artists and artisans who adapted the glass for "artistic" and novelty pieces. "Glassblowers" began popping up at county fairs and tourists traps across the United States making and selling their items in front of appreciative crowds. No one called it art, but everyone enjoyed it just the same, and all across America the public came to associate "glassblowing" with the lampworkers they encountered at carnivals, theme parks and, later shopping malls --blown swans filled with colored water, little spun glass ships, animals that could be made cheaply and sold quickly. Quality and creativity were not relevant issues and lampworkers copied each other mercilessly until all novelty lampwork started to look alike.
In Europe, however, the introduction of borosilicate glass did not denote the death toll for old traditions. In Lauscha, local craftsmen continued working strictly with German soda-lime glass, busily perfecting centuries-old techniques and, at times, unconsciously crossing the line from novelty to art. In particular, Albin Schaedel, developed and perfected a technique -- montage -- that came to characterize East German lampwork from the l960's on. Montage is simply the assembly of many pieces of tubing into one large bubble which is then shaped into a final vessel form. This technique is incredibly difficult and time consuming, and Schaedel and a few other Lauschans are the only ones in the world who have mastered it. The resulting vessels are impossibly intricate and very, very beautiful. Perhaps the greatest master craftsman from Lauscha is Kurt Wallstab, whose work is internationally acclaimed for its beauty and perfection.
Venetian lampworkers also clung tenaciously to their traditional soda glass formulas, primarily for color compatibility, especially as the Moretti factory there continued to produce a broad spectrum of brilliantly colored cane, which local lamp workers were busily mastering to create brightly colored pieces of a quality unequaled anywhere in the world. Modern masters like Lucio Bubacco, Vittorio Costantini, and Gianni Toso carry on the Venetian traditions and techniques.
However, in Czechoslovakia one remarkable woman, Vera Liskova, elevated borosilicate lampworking into a fine art. Her large, striking, abstract sculptures captured the imagination of art critics and collectors during the 1970's until her untimely death in 1979. Liskova's influence can be seen today in the work of several prominent East European lampworkers including the Poles Paulina Komorovska and Anna Skibska who make large, fragile, austere sculpture composed of impossibly thin pieces of glass assembled into a greater whole.
Godo Frabel, a young East German who had completed his apprenticeship with Jena Glaswerke in Mainz, emigrated to the United States in 1965 and got a job as a scientific glass blower in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1968 realized his life long dream by establishing his own studio and gallery which presented lampworking as a true art medium for the first time in America. He specialized in the depiction of everyday objects in glass in unexpected contexts: a sculpture of coat hangers, a row of giant glass nails pounded into a plank with a glass hammer frozen in mid-strike, a faucet with a drop of water suspended forever. Frabel's innovative approach to lampworking was an inspiration to a generation of lampworkers, many of whom copied him shamelessly, but all of whom were deeply influenced by him. All across America, young lampworkers followed Frabel's example and tried, with varying degrees of success, to emulate his approach.
One of these was a young woman who had just received her degree in fine art from the University of Georgia--Ginny Ruffner. She began working for Frabel in 1975 and, although her background was in painting, she saw something in the glass that intrigued her. She worked with Frabel for five years, developing her ability, then set out on her own and began exploring her own vision of lampworked glass as a serious art medium. Her work was so unique in its approach, so undeniably creative, that she received almost immediate acclaim. By sandblasting the glass, she found that she could then paint on the surface. The rough surface allowed paint to adhere to the
non-porous material and, suddenly, the possibilities were endless. The results were undeniably art and, for the first time lampworking was recognized as a medium for fine art by art critics, gallery owners, and collectors. Ginny had cleared the way, and soon the path was filled with young artists, emboldened by her success. The old image of the carnival novelty, the side show attraction, was swiftly replaced by a new breed of daring and innovative artists who were not afraid to break rules and turn their backs on tradition.
In the past ten years a revolution of sorts has taken place in lampwork, not just in the acceptance on the part of the public, but in the vision lampworkers have of themselves. Traditional themes have given way to outrageous forms of expression and endless experimentation. Lampworked art is being shown and sold along side painting and sculpture in the finest art galleries in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Around the world flameworking artists of all nations share a hunger for knowledge, both technical and esoteric, that will drive the development of this medium for years to come.
c. Robert A. Mickelsen
Melborne, Florida April 1998
Robert A. Mickelsen is an artist who specializes in lampworking. He shows his work in some of the finest galleries in the United States. He has taught at the Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Crafts, and is scheduled to teach at the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass this year. He writes for two glass publications. A devoted husband and father, he maintains a delicate balance between his love of glass and his love of family.
© 1998 Centro Studio Vetro Murano
Minimum order is a case of 8 swans. Please order in multiples of 8. Orders that are at least the minimum order (1 case), but are not multiples of 8 must have a $15 broken case fee manually added to the order total. The broken case fee cannot be used to place a below minimum order, but is added to orders that are ABOVE the minimum order, but BELOW a full additional case etc. of the same size swans. Prices are per swan, not per case. We can't produce or sell smaller quantities less than 1 case.
If you would like to "mix" a case with various sizes, please email us with the quantities of which sizes you would like and we will let you know if it equals about a case of mixed sizes. For example: 4, 11" swans and 6, 9" swans (1/2 case of each) equals a case and we can fill it. Click image for more info.
If you want to "mix" a case with various sizes, please email us with the quantities of which sizes you would like and we will let you know if it equals about a case of mixed sizes. For example: 4, 12" swans and 6, 9" swans (1/2 case of each) equals a case and we can fill it. Click image for more info.
If you want to "mix" a case with various sizes, please email us with the quantities of which sizes you would like and we will let you know if it equals about a case of mixed sizes. For example: 4, 12" swans and 6, 9" swans (1/2 a case of each) equals a case and we can fill it.