The Buttons, Button Pressing, Smržovka 257

The history of glassworks in Smržovka goes back to the early 18th century, when pressed chandelier fittings were polished here for Nuremberg buyers, and later beads for decorative chains on classic chandeliers. The large number of home polishing and pressing workshops which dot the countryside date from this period – known locally as the “glass Jizera Mountains”. Industrial manufacture of glass developed from the 1850s and, due to wide range of items available, Smržovka became the hub of glass button production. Plain glass buttons were made from opaque, transparent and silk lustre glass. Decorated glass buttons are made the same way, but are decorated with precious metals, painting, spraying, lustre and artificial silver application. These buttons are mainly used as accessories for ladies’ fashion. The raw material used is glass rods which are inserted into a pressing furnace. These were installed in glass pressing workshops, typical buildings of the glass Jizera Mountains. Under the influence of changes in the market traditional pressed glass beads are slowly becoming a part of history; however, there is one preserved building

where visitor can find many items authentically conserved. At a polishing workshop belonging to Dr. Fritz Staffen a glass pressing workshop with six furnaces was established in 1907. It remained in production even after nationalization until 1953, when all such workshops were amalgamated in the central Skleněná bižuterie glass pressing factory. Staffen’s workshop was back in business in 1967, when machine pressing was launched on the new Matura pressing machine. The business was closed again until 2000. The premises were restored in keeping with the tradition by Mr.Lipský, who reinstated original production. Buttons and chandelier components were again manufactured in the premises; however, only a small group of the original craftsmen survive, who in exceptional circumstances allow visitors to view the treasure of button models and historic equipment there. Visitors may, however, by prior arrangement, see glass pressing in Petr Klamta’s workshop in the small village of Vlastiboř. Telephone: + 420 608 925 632.

Edited by OHK v Jablonci nad Nisou
Translation: EDUCA – vzdělávací centrum, s.r.o., Jablonec nad Nisou 

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