Savoir-Faire

Sculpting and molding

The first step in our glass making process is the creation of our prototypes, all designed and created by Valentina and Sébastien. 

If the glass piece has a sculptural element to it like our heads, we first start with a clay sculpture that is then molded by Sébastien in plaster in a “moule à pièce”. 

The plaster print made from this first casting is then used to create another mold  called “les coquilles” that will then be sent to our bronze founder in the Somme region in the north of France. As a final step, our founder will create a third cast in bronze into which we can blow our glass.

 

How we source our recycled glass

We get our glass from so many places you wouldn’t even imagine. Our recycled glass comes from wine bottles, perfume bottles, window panes, car windows, beer bottles. We buy this glass from restaurants, hotels, and factories. Once we receive our glass at the factory, we wash it, break it down by hand, and melt it in the thousand degree oven.
So where do our colors come from? Our green glass can be  sourced from wine bottles, beer bottles and other types of alcohol bottles. Our olive glass is also sourced from wine bottles, olive oil bottles and certain champagne bottles. Our browns are created by melting champagne bottles and mixing some oxide. All other colors such as blues, yellows, turquoise, and framboise are created using oxides (a natural mineral) that are then mixed with transparent glass. For more information, visit our post, “Where Does Our Recycled Glass Come From?

Melting and blowing

The recycled glass is then thrown into the thousand degree oven and is melted for hours. Once the glass has turned into liquid, our designs are mouth-blown by our expert glassblowing craftsmen in Tunisia and Turkey.

Each piece is handmade. No machines are involved, not even a cutting machine. All our products are opened by hand. Each piece is unique because each piece will vary slightly when blown and opened.

Candles

Our candle vessels are hand-poured by Valentina and our team in our studio in Gentilly. Our sculptural candles are made to order and hand-poured by Valentina or Sébastien in our molds. We use 100% natural wax with no fragrance.

Plasters

All our plaster pieces are produced and handmade by Sebastien in his studio the 15th Arrondissement. They are all made with plaster of Paris, a natural material made from gypsum and that can be recycled indefinitely.

Terracotta

Our terracotta pieces are produced by our master artisans by either hand stamping the clay in our plaster molds made in Paris, or using the barbotine clay technique. 

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Packaging

When we receive your order, the preparation process begins! Each piece is inspected and prepared for packaging. We use as much recyclable materials as possible for your order.

We even include our neighbors in the recycling process! Every morning Sébastien gets his coffee at the local café while having a short chat with the café owner. The owner gives Sébastien “yesterday’s” newspaper that he brings back to the studio to use for our packaging. Our other neighbors also drop off their newspapers on our doorstep to re-use. This is why you may find some french news articles in your box!

Our products are also wrapped in recycled craft paper for protection. When our boxes get old, we cut them up into small strips & squares to use as packaging materials between each piece for extra protection instead of bubble wrap.

We also use a wood wool from Fibrene de Touraine. It is an ecological packaging that is 100% natural protection for fragile objects. The wood curls prevent impact & vibrations.

We normally abstain from using bubble wrap but some of our more delicate pieces require it in order to get to you as safely as possible.

Giving back

Sébastien had been dabbling in the art of glassblowing when he realized that 100% mouth-blown glass (no machines!) was a dying art. At the time there were fewer than five professional glassblowers in the Paris region.  Upon learning this, Valentina and Sébastien decided to start La Soufflerie, a non-profit organization that gives all its proceeds back to the glassblowers to keep the art alive.

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Candle care

Before lighting your candle, trim the wick to about 1/2-cm in length. This allows the candle to burn more slowly and also avoid unsightly black smoke marks around the edge of the glass.

Every time you burn your La Soufflerie candle, allow it to burn at least until the whole top of the candle is liquid. This will help your candle burn more evenly for each burning session.

After blowing out your candle, re-center and straighten the wick.
When using your candlestick holder, do not let the flame touch the glass. Blow the candle out once it gets close to the candle stick holder. Do not place your candle on a cool surface like marble. If the bottom of the hot candle comes in contact with a cold material, the glass may crack.

Do not burn your candle all the way down. Leave at least 1/2-cm of wax in the container to avoid cracking the bottom.Once you have finished burning your candle, hand wash with warm water and soap until the dried wax melts away. You now have a new La Soufflerie piece to use!

Cleaning care

All plaster and terracotta pieces are not suitable for use with water. You can dust each piece with a dry cloth.

General information

These are entirely made by hand and each creation is unique. Therefore, there may be a slight variation in color, texture, and size between each piece. On the base of each item, you can feel the pontil mark left by the glassblower’s cane. The presence of this mark indicates that the glass was blown freehand. This is the beauty of handmade.

Cleaning care

We do recommend handwashing as much as possible to avoid scratches from the dishwasher and to keep the glass sparkling. But, know that our glassware is dishwasher resistant and can be cleaned in the dishwasher

Colored glass

Pigmented glass is mixed into the furnace during the glassblowing. This means that the glass itself is colored instead of painted. Our glass is durable and no changes or fading occur with continued use over time.

Delivery information

Your order will be processed between 7 and 10 business days. 

Each piece is hand washed and individually, wrapped and packed with recycled materials by our team. 

Your package will include one small, La Soufflerie, cotton gift bag.

Certain items may take longer to be delivered. Please allow 2 to 3 extra weeks for delivery for Plaster products, Lamps, Candles, and Wood, these products are made to order.

If your order is placed during the weekend or on a holiday, we will begin processing it the following business day. 

For all questions or returns please refer to our FAQ.

The Nature of Handmade

Due to the hand made nature of our products each piece may differ in size, shape and color.

If you would like to complete an already existing set of glassware, please make sure you send us a picture of the glasses so that we can match the set as close as possible to the ones you have.

For more information please visit our FAQ page.

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