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Gold Leaf Graal Glass
By Morgan Persson, Sweden

Morgan’s beautiful images in blown glass breathe new life into one of glass’ most notoriously difficult techniques; Graal. Requiring mastery of both hot and cold work, Graal’s complex, multi-stepped process allows uncommonly detailed and expressive imagery to be created within the glass.

Developed in Sweden at Orrefors in 1916, Graal begins with blowing a very thick two-layered vessel which is then cooled to room temperature so that the design may be carved or etched into it. The piece is then reheated and encased in a thick layer of transparent glass and inflated. Morgan has evolved the technique with his introduction of gold leaf inlay and embellished this further with rich, marbled overlays and thick, yet irregular crystal layers, further complicating the already challenging annealing process.

The mastery of this complex technique is just the beginning of Morgan’s work. It is his deft skill with rendering gestural lines and sumptuous compositions to produce narrative, symbolic and documentary imagery that makes the most of Graal’s possibilities and makes his work so visually compelling.