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Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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It’s just about that time of year again…

Published on March 14th, 2017 in Basics

  • ARTEL Kirschner bowl with Sakura motif

  • ARTEL Sakura barware L to R: Highball, Double Old Fashioned, Tumbler and Vodka/Liquer

  • Sakura Trinket Box – private commission made by Zelouf+Bell. Photo by Roland Paschhoff

  • Sakura Cabinet – private commission made by Zelouf+Bell. Photo by Roland Paschhoff

  • Sakura Key Cabinet – private commission made by Zelouf+Bell. Photo by Roland Paschhoff

What time of year, you ask? Why, cherry blossom season, of course!

 

In Japan, the sakura (cherry blossom) flower is rich with meaning: on one hand, it symbolizes clouds (due to its nature of blooming en masse); on the other, it is seen as an “enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life.”

 

Cherry Blossoms Photo Credit: Pinterest

 

Every spring, during the few weeks that the cherry blossoms are in bloom – usually right around nowJapan celebrates a nationwide centuries-old ritual known as hanami.

 

It’s kind of a big deal – and not only in Japan ­– and it keeps thousands of people watching the weather to predict when “peak bloom” will occur.

 

Photographing  the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. c.1922

 

 

While some view it as “just a simple pleasure, stopping to view and appreciate the beautiful spring blossoms,” for others it’s a more spiritual activity, “a chance to recognize and reflect on the beauty of nature while welcoming the new season.”

 

And what better way to embrace the spirit of hanami that with ARTEL’s incredibly delicate Sakura motif? 

 

ARTEL Sakura Double Old Fashioned Glasses

 

Introduced in 2011, Sakura features detailed renderings of delicate pinkish-white cherry blossoms perched on gracefully intertwining branches and set against a frosted background that evokes cool morning mist.

 

ARTEL’s Sakura motif detail

 

Sakura is not only a delight to behold; it’s also a veritable showcase of traditional glassmaking techniques, as it requires a painstaking seven-step process: After each piece is mouth-blown, it is encased with a second layer of white crystal; the flowers are then created by sandblasting off almost the entire second crystal layer, leaving only the white blossoms and branches remaining. Next, each piece is acid-etched to achieve a lustrous pearl finish, and each blossom is hand-engraved. Lastly, each blossom and branch is hand-painted and hand-gilded by ARTEL’s master artisans. The result is a truly unique motif with an appearance unlike virtually any other crystal glassware on the market today.

 

Sakura is one of our most unabashedly beautiful motifs,” says Karen Feldman, ARTEL’s founder and director. “Cherry blossoms are one of nature’s most perfect creations; their shape and color are simply lovely, and they make everyone happy. And isn’t that really what springtime is all about?”

 

 

 

Cherry Blossoms in Bloom Photo Credit:  Thomas Roux

 

To see Sakura in person, stop by any of our stores. Not in Prague? No problem ­– it’s available online.

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