Glass Blowing Factory

We took a field trip in language school to a local "Fabrica de Vidrio" (Glass Factory).  This place is located within spitting distance of our new host family's house in Cantel.  Our host dad knows several of the workers there, some are cousins of our host mom, Graciela.  The men in the factory get to work at 5am and close up shop at about noon or 1pm, because it gets way too hot in the building to function.  They work six days per week, every week, without fail.  Every one of them puts in a hard day's work.  They were going non-stop during our visit, creating vases, wine glasses, and pitchers in a matter of minutes.  They cut molten glass with scissors.  They frequently grab bare-handed a lead pole that's been sitting in a fire for a while... splashing handfuls of water on it to try and cool it off.  There is no strict measuring, etc.  These guys just know exactly how big to make everything by eye-balling it.  A set of 6 wine glasses matches in height and weight. Cool stuff!

The vast majority (85%) of the things made here are exported to other countries.  The rest is sold in local markets or at the factory's store at cut-rate prices.  A 3' tall hand made flower vase is roughly $7.  It was a fascinating process to watch.

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