I flew into Dusseldorf in the wee hours of the morning today. It was rainy and gray when I got off the flight. I remember Munich was gray and rainy too when I visited years ago in spring. That was vacation; not this so much. Already dog tired from staying up the night before, I checked in at the hotel, jumped into the shower and headed to the trade show.
This is my first glasstec, and boy, am I wowed. My tiredness disappeared for a bit from all the lights, the people, the buzz and the glam of it all. The nine huge halls showcase gleaming, colorful glass products and mammoth glazing equipment; and there are even glass art, glass jewelry and trinkets to purchase. A giant glass show with a feminine side? Neat.
This year, for the first time art works in glass have been grouped in their own area in Hall 9 on more than 1,000 square meters of space. This is in reaction to the growing interest from international artists. More than 60 artists, including internationally renowned galleries and the glass artists association Glas Kunstlervereinigung NRW, are showcasing their craft at this show.
Today’s opening ceremony had more sparkle in store, literally. It featured Kristalleon performing “Girl from Ipanema.” Think a man in a court jester-like costume made of a shiny silver material with mirror encrusting and a silver Venetian-like mask. He had a tray full of wine glasses filled/half-filled with water and he rubbed those to make music. He reminded me of the man in Alexandria, Va., who does the same most evenings sitting at the water front. Except, the Alexandria man doesn’t wear a sparkly costume.
The shine continues through the show floor, including the amazing glass bridge, a crystal clear, bent bridge in cold-mounted glass with a span of 7 meters. The seele company presents the bridge in cooperation with professor Stefan Behling, University of Stuttgart, and Stefan Peters, Engelsmann Peters Ingenieure, as part of the glass technology live show. The surface of the bridge is clear and is made of individual, 4-millimeter thick bent glass panes, each with total dimensions of only 3.7 centimeters total lamination. At the broadest point, the bridge measures 2 meters; 1.7 tons of glass support a 7.2-ton load over a span width of 7 meters.
My bone tiredness disappeared as I walked around with a gaping mouth, before it hit me back like a ton of bricks around 3 p.m. As I left the trade show to come back to the hotel and catch some z’s, the rain fell and a chilly wind blew. My body had shut down, but my head was still full of the gianormous show with a twinkle in its heart.
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By Sahely Mukerji, news editor/managing editor, Glass Magazine