Lalique is celebrating the centenary of its Wingen-sur-Moder factory this year by producing two new limited-edition pieces
Lalique’s Alsace factory has crafted an exceptional bottle containing a new Lalique fragrance, named Fusion, and a beautiful spirit decanter called Water drop.
To mark 100 years of manufacturing, Lalique’s Fusion flacon is exceptional in that just tensigned and numbered pieces exist. The Fusion flacon is also exceptional on account of its extreme virtuosity. In a centenary year which honours their craft, Lalique’s master glass- makers have pushed their expertise to its absolute limits.
The Lalique Design Studio, under the direction of Marc Larminaux, worked in close collaboration with the master glassmakers to create this tribute to their expertise.
The production process for this extraordinary bottle began in the hot-glass workshop, and involved seven people, the largest team ever to work on a single piece. One particularly challenging aspect was the precise coordination necessary between the artisans, as the bottle is made up of two parts: the “parison” in amber crystal and the mailloche in clear crystal.
The parison bottle is elongated by a slender black satin-polished crystal stopper, evoking the blowpipe used in workshops. A clear crystal frieze recalls a mailloche, the curved piece of wood used to give the crystal a round shape.
In the cold-glass workshop, no less than 11 artisans worked to achieve perfection. The cutting and sanding operations were entrusted to one master glassmaker. A second, specialised in polishing, worked on creating the contrast between transparency and the satin finish. Each stopper was then polished and ground by a third pair of hands.
It was a considerable challenge to create ten copies of the Fusion flacon. Not least because the crystal had to be worked in different colours – clear, black and amber – all with different physical and chemical proper- ties, making the piece extremely fragile to handle at each stage of production.
Meanwhile, as a tribute to the history of Lalique and to mark the centenary of its Alsace factory, an original design was chosen from the company archives for a white glass decanter produced in 1922, the year in which the first furnace in René Lalique’s glassworks was lit. In 2022, one hundred years after its first edition, the Water drop decanter has been recreated in satin-polished crystal, the signature Lalique style that reflects the artisans’ unique expertise.
When the piece had cooled, the artisans in Lalique’s cold-glass workshops began by cutting the decanter’s neck – another delicate technical step, as the diameter of the opening must accommodate the perpendicular stopper perfectly. The latter is formed in a steel mould into which the glassmakers press the crystal. The lightly fluted sides rise to a peak eight centi- metres high.
The decanter is limited to just 100 pieces, and has been designed to highlight the colour and aromas of the finest spirits. The first challenge for the five Lalique artisans working together on the piece in the factory’s hot-glass workshop was to “gather” the right quantity of crystal: the decanter has a very thin neck and the drops that cascade down the sides have to be uniform. Precision and meticulous care are required during the preforming of the material, which is then blown into a steel mould.
In a final display of dexterity, after three hours of cold work on this anniversary decanter, the Lalique signature and the edition number are engraved by hand on the underside.