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Cumbria Crystal Shortlisted for Regional Award

The Cumbria Tourism Awards celebrates its 17th year of showcasing the very best local businesses and the individuals behind them. Recognizing the variety & quality of the unique products, services, marketing and sustainable practices within our diverse county being shortlisted is a fantastic achievement. Winners will go on to represent Cumbria at the ‘Visit England Awards for Excellence’ in 2020.

We are delighted to be shortlisted in ‘The Experience of the Year Award’ – Sponsored by the new Carlisle Lake District Airport. Cumbria Crystal’s glass-making ‘Experiences’ offer enables visitors to explore the drama and alchemy of glassblowing in a working factory environment using the traditional tools & techniques evolved over 2000 years.

Our Experiences co-ordinator Clare Wilson joined Cumbria Crystal in 2017 with the brief to develop & expand the Experiences programme into a fun, dramatic & educational activity suitable for all ages from 8 years old. Her specialist glass blowing skills & extensive experience ensure participants of taster sessions, public workshops or One-to-One tuition receive the best and safest tuition and care.

Clare graduated with a BA (Hons) in Glass from Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland and was later selected for the prestigious two-year associate training program at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide, Australia and is where she began to teach introductory glass blowing classes. Clare has worked at Pilchuck Glass School as a student and teaching assistant and been a part of residency programs at the Glazenhuis, Lommel, Belgium; Edinburgh College of Art; Salem State University, MA, USA as part of the Rosenberg residency and most recently at the University for Creative Arts, Farnham.

Cumbria Crystal recently expanded its experiences programme with the introduction of new workshops for two people, these include ‘Bud Vase’ & ‘Two Hearts’ workshops. Experiences are available Saturday to Wednesday weekly.

Bud Vase Experience

In this unique 1-hour experience (for two people) participants will learn to make a colourful blown glass bud vase. Clare will ‘gather’ the molten glass from the furnace on a blowing iron and assist you with your chosen colour. You will be taught how to shape the glass into the correct form before your instructor blows the initial bubble to get the vase started. You will learn how to inflate and shape the glass using traditional wood, newspaper and metal tools. The bubble will then be transferred to a separate punty iron before being ‘opened up’ to create your finished vessel.

Two Hearts Experience

This half hour experience is ideal for two people wishing to share an intensive, fun & memorable experience. Each participant will create a small heart paperweight. Under close supervision you will be shown how to use a variety of glass-makers’ tools to create unique patterns in coloured glass. Each participant will leave (after cooling) with a beautiful keepsake and amazing memories of their time together.

Hearts take 2-3 days to cool and finish.

Our Managing Director Chris Blade says – “Traditional glass blowing is rarely seen today & as such, I am passionate about offering people the opportunity to see & experience it first-hand. The creation of a 5 day a week, hands-on public experiences programme, delivered in the factory alongside our production teams is a powerful way of enhancing this. Clare’s skills, genuine enthusiasm & teaching ability enable us to offer exceptional experiences to our guests. We are therefore delighted & proud to be shortlisted for this Award.”

The next stage involves a visit from a secret shopper to experience glassmaking themselves and assess the customer journey. The report will then be accessed by an independent judging panel who will decide the category winners.

Winners will be announced at an elegant black-tie event on Wednesday 19th June 2019 at the stunning Cartmel Racecourse.

Customer Reviews from our experiences –

“Wow, what a fantastic day for all the family visiting Ulverston. The kids had a really good time learning all about glass making from a professional glass blower. They had the opportunity to try the craft under fantastic supervision from the guide. They really enjoyed making their baubles in a safe environment and we as parents where allowed to watch and take photos. They will never forgot this experience and they have the bauble to cherish for a lifetime. Thanks Cumbria crystal for a fantastic day and memorable experience. Highly recommended for any family visiting, I would phone in advance to book a slot, we didn’t and were lucky but given how much we enjoyed this I would recommend booking. Thanks Mia and Ben.”

“This was my second visit, I have blown my own Christmas bauble and created a paper weight. Tuition was excellent, very safety conscious, the teacher was very passionate about her craft and explained everything in good detail. I really enjoyed the hands on experience in both these classes and having my own products at the end of it was lovely and such a great keepsake of the fantastic time I had. We love visiting Cumbria Crystal even if its just to look around the shop, it’s great to see the artisans practicing their skill while we are there. The crystalware is always of an excellent quality, they have a great choice of products for any occasion, and the work the engravers do is always above and beyond our expectations.”

“I booked this experience for my god daughter, her sister and myself when they were staying with me from Oxford. Both of them are teenagers and I thought it was a great idea (as did they!). It took 15 minutes for each of us to be instructed and to make the bauble ready for the kiln. Our instructor Clare was brilliant, giving us a detailed demonstration beforehand and guiding us throughout the process. She completed the bauble by adding the glass hook at the end before it entered the kiln. Clare was patient, knowledgeable and made the whole thing fun while emphasising the safety aspects all the way through. We collected our works of art the next morning and we are all delighted with the results. Thank you Clare for a great experience!”

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The question that has been on everybody’s lips… “What is the best crystal glass for drinking Champagne?”

This may feel like one of those questions that you hesitate to ask because there seems to be an obvious answer. I mean, aren’t champagne glasses called ‘Champagne glasses?’ This may feel like one of those questions that you hesitate to ask because there seems to be an obvious answer. I mean, aren’t champagne glasses called ‘Champagne glasses?’

Well, if you’re asking the question, and pondering this dilemma whilst chilling a luxuriously expensive bottle of Champagne, then you most certainly have a very valid reason for doing some research. If you have a special occasion such as an anniversary, an important valentines’ day date or poignant birthday celebration, to which you have purchased a beautiful bottle of Champagne to mark the occasion or to share a love of high quality and decadence to add to the value of such event, then surely you should be gracing this fine quality of wine with a fine quality of drinking vessel?

Cumbria Crystals’ traditional Grasmere Champagne Flute

Indeed, it is proven that a glass’s shape, feel, weight and grandeur all have a part to play within a quality Champagne drinking experience; At Cumbria Crystal, we specialise in the creation of two, very different, yet prestigious lead crystal glasses just suited for this fine tincture; the Champagne Flute, and the Coupe.


Cumbria Crystals’ Boogie Woogie Champagne Coupe.

In a tall flute, there is a large depth of liquid in the glass, showcasing the fine bubbles that form. Whereas, in a flat, wide coupe, the shorter depth of liquid make the bubbles congregate near the centre, allowing the wines’ aroma to release with more influence.

Many people view the flute as the iconic glass for champagne, the long stem provides an amble hold to ensure that the optimal cool temperature of the wine is maintained, whilst also showing off the hypnotising dance of its’ effervescence. Yet in the past, the champagne coupe was the epitome of style and elegance, truly a traditional Champagne-drinking vessel; glorified in the style and tastes of the late 1930s.

Cumbria Crystals’ Palm Design, showcased on a range of Lead Crystal Glassware, including the Champagne Flute.

So in answer to how to select the optimal glassware for your bottle, well, this depends on which Champagne has been selected. A fine and fruity Champagne deserves a homage to its’ aromatic qualities; so choose a Champagne Coupe design that suits your style, allows you to maintain its cool presence and provides an aromatic sensation to your palette.

Or if you have selected superior dry Champagne (Brut), with elegant fruity notes, then a spectacular flute would most certainly complement.

Why choose Crystal?

There are numerous benefits to the use of high-quality crystal glassware over regular glass. Firstly, due to the crystals’ rougher surface area, the glass creates more bubbles to mesmerise. This is not only more pleasurable to drink but helps to aerate the Champagne and promote its fine flavour. Secondly, the thicker glass provides slightly more insulation to the wine, and so maintains its’ perfect cool drinking temperature. Thirdly, when toasting glasses, the crystal sings with a spellbinding tone. And finally, the crystal refracts light more effectively, producing a stunning array of patterns through its unique design.

In review, you shall certainly need opulent glassware to truly best enjoy a proper Champagne wine.

At Cumbria Crystal, we produce the highest quality crystal glassware in our factory, made to order in premium quality, for just this type of occasion. With premium lead crystal glasses, hand made by our highly skilled glassblowers in our British factory.

Bring some style and decadence to your celebrations, and satisfy that high quality bottle of Moet for your wedding day or anniversary, with the highest quality of glass, suited perfectly for your fine tipple.



Showcasing here our Palm Champagne Flute (above), and our Boogie-Woogie Champagne Coupe (links below), yet we have many other beautiful designs, both traditional and modern to choose from.
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World renowned luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason epitomizes the trend in traditional English Crystalware.

From its fabulous flagship store located at 181 Piccadilly, London to its retail stores at St. Pancreas Station and the Royal Exchange, Fortnum & Mason has always been at the forefront of providing its clients with the best products the world has to offer.


In its 300 years of trading the company has always stayed ahead of new trends and innovations. For instance in 1866 the company introduced the mighty baked bean to Britain for the first time thanks to their belief in a young American entrepreneur determined to introduce this unusual product to the UK Market. Whilst one doesn’t imagine Baked Beans when you think luxury department stores, this was a gastronomic first that took the UK by storm.

Cumbria Crystal as the last UK producer of hand-made luxury Crystal has regularly featured in the most salubrious of surroundings and high profile organizations – these include the famous Glyndebourne Opera House in West Sussex; every Bentley Bentayga Mulliner and Thomas Goode, located in London’s Mayfair and boasting two royal warrants to the British royal household of Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales. We are delighted therefore that Cumbria Crystal will once again become more readily available to available through Fortnum & Mason.

Our Sales contact Mike Iland says “the relationship with Fortnum & Mason builds on our strategy of building working partnerships with luxury brands that value to very best in British artisan skill and design.

Today we see people rejecting fast fashion and the throwaway culture of modern mass-produced, inexpensive products. The appreciation of skill and craftsmanship is returning and with it a resurgence of interest in cut crystal as can be seen in contemporary cocktail bars and exclusive dining venues in cosmopolitan England.”

The Cumbria Crystal Grasmere Collection couldn’t be more suited. The Georgian style regularly features in period dramas including the hugely popular Downton Abbey. Most recently the Grasmere Vintage Champagne SW-008-GR  glass was selected for a luxury £400 cocktail for the prestigious Samling Hotel , Lake Windermere.

Designed in 1976 by Lady Grania Cavendish, an original founder of the company and part of one of the most influential aristocratic families in England , Grasmere is the most time consuming and complex collection to produce. Manufactured using flute, mitre, diamond, rings and hollow cuts the design uses seven different cutting wheels & the collective efforts of the whole team to produce.

The Grasmere collection is available in store at Fortnum & Mason’s, 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER or directly from Cumbria Crystal online at cumbriacrystal.com


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Cumbria Crystal works with Legendary Gin producer on the perfect recycling project.

At Cumbria Crystal we pride ourselves on producing the finest hand blown Crystal produced by our highly skilled artisans here in our factory in Ulverston. Usually spending our time creating our luxury products for British Embassies, bespoke car manufactures and luxury high street retailers worldwide, we were intrigued when we received a call from Sipsmith, London (who began manufacturing their incredible spirits in 2009 in a small workshop space located in Hammersmith, London) to work on an interesting repurposing project, breathing new life into their bottles and making use of a product that would otherwise of just been recycled in the usual manner.

Fairfax and Sam (Sipsmith’s founders) have an unwavering belief in things well made – the way they used to be, the way they should be, so they set up London’s first traditional copper distillery since 1820. Their mission is simple: to bring London Dry Gin of truly uncompromising quality and character, back to the city where it first earned its name. Every bottle of Sipsmith is hand-crafted in small batches, every batch is lovingly laboured over by hand, by dedicated Distillers. No regimented timings, no automatic cuts, just a craftsman’s flair and a passion for gin well made – reminding of us of our own manufacturing techniques and passion for producing the best quality by hand, using a skilled craftsman’s knowledge and expertise to provide the perfect form to our glassware.   

With this combined ethos and consideration to the art of our individual business’s, the journey began. We received 120 empty bottles from our friends at Sipsmith with the specification to transform these relatively plain bottles into extra special Martini Stirring Glasses for customers worldwide.

The process of making the glasses started with our processing staff cracking off the top third section of the bottle to ensure that the volume was correct to Sipsmith’s specifications. This is achieved by scoring the glass and introducing a flame to the scored line, this shocks the glass and after around 30 seconds the unwanted glass will break away. In order to ensure a smooth finish the next step is to grind the lip to a smooth finish using motorised diamond cutting wheels.

At this point the glass is checked for the correct height.

The unfinished stirring glass is then taken to the Glasshouse team and inserted into a tool which allows the glass to be warmed in a heating chamber. Once the glass is at 600 degrees centigrade a gas torch is used to focus heat on the rim and then a carbon lipping tool is used to hand form the pouring lip. The glasses are then placed into our annealing kiln to cool slowly overnight.  

An extract from Sipsmith’s website for The Ultimate Martini;

125ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin 
25ml Dry Vermouth

Stir over ice, strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. 

Each stirring glass is 500ml, but for the perfect martini it is recommended to stir down one martini at a time.

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Bentley Centenary Car

As seasoned advocates of our work at Cumbria Crystal we are sure you are aware of our Collaborative work with Bentley Motors, seeing our fabulous bespoke flutes supplied with every new Bentley Bentayga Mulliner – we have recently been working on a new project with the Mulliner team in the run up to Bentley’s Centenary celebration year and are delighted that our bespoke tumbler and decanter collection were shown to the eagerly watching public at the launch event in Pebble Beach, Caifornia at the exclusive Monterey car week.

This has been a long process, to develop a truly unique product to this vehicle (the Mulsane WO Edition) and we feel completely honored to be part of such a special moment in Bentley’s life and look forward to collaborating on many other projects in the future.

The Mulliner Mulsanne WO edition is inspired and created in celebration of   Mr Bentley himself, the man who’s true time goal was ‘to build a fast car, a good car, the best in it’s class’. It features not only an 8 litre engine, the same as WO Bentley’s own vehicle launched in 1930 but every person who is lucky enough to own one of these incredible vehicles will share with them a part of Bentley’s history in the vehicle itself. Hidden between the two rear seats lies a section of the original Crankshaft, somewhat similar to the crankshaft used in all modern Bentleys – this is beautifully inlaid in a clear window in the tray of  the drinks cabinet (located just behind our bespoke tumblers.)

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Try your hand at glassblowing – one of many new experiences lined up at Cumbria Crystal!

Experience the 2000 year old tradition of hand blown glass-making at Cumbria Crystal, Ulverston

Being the last manufacture of luxury crystal in the UK, we are famous for producing some of the highest quality hand-blown and cut lead-crystal in the world and are proud to supply clients such as Bentley, Rolls Royce, all the British Embassies and many Royal families.

Our ethos has always been to welcome visitors into the factory to watch glass being blown as there are very few places left that this 2000 year art can still be seen. The educational benefits for young and old alike are undeniable – sharing the experience of watching glass being transformed from sand into crystal and then being worked by artisans at temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees centigrade is close to alchemy and is fascinating to watch. It is rare that visitors to our factory fail to marvel at the collective skills required to create the crystal they see being made in front of them.

In order to extend appreciation of the craft, a small furnace has been built to specifically enable visitors to receive tuition and blow glass alongside our artisans who may well be blowing the crystal used by James Bond in Casino Royale or Downton Abbey.

We are delighted to welcome Clare Wilson to the team to co-ordinate & deliver an extensive programme of activities. Clare studied for three years at the Edinburgh College of Art and trained for four years at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide, Australia, a highly respected contemporary craft organisation. Combined with extensive teaching experience Clare is well placed to revolutionise the experience on offer by offering hands on opportunities to our visitors both near and far.

15 and 30 minute experiences making coloured glass baubles or paperweights are now available and bookable Saturday – Wednesday. Participants will be guided through every step of the process, selecting different coloured glasses to work with, melting the colour into the liquid glass and then blowing & forming the paperweight or bauble. Paperweights are very hands on & in addition participants will be able to form the liquid glass with wet newspaper held in their hands!

Bauble workshops are available from 8+ years (Starting at £20). Paperweight workshops from 13 years+ (£45). Workshops are suitable for group sizes up to 8 people, reservations are recommended especially at busy times, drop in sessions are available subject to availability.

In the coming weeks we will expand the programme to include a three hour tumbler workshop suitable for up to three people, plus half and full-day glass blowing tuition packages suitable for up to two people. These present the perfect opportunity to share an amazing creative experience and develop glass blowing skills, or to give someone an amazing present (gift vouchers are available).

Experience the 2000 year old tradition of hand blown glass-making at Cumbria Crystal, Ulverston

Being the last manufacture of luxury crystal in the UK, we are famous for producing some of the highest quality hand-blown and cut lead-crystal in the world and are proud to supply clients such as Bentley, Rolls Royce, all the British Embassies and many Royal families.

Our ethos has always been to welcome visitors into the factory to watch glass being blown as there are very few places left that this 2000 year art can still be seen. The educational benefits for young and old alike are undeniable – sharing the experience of watching glass being transformed from sand into crystal and then being worked by artisans at temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees centigrade is close to alchemy and is fascinating to watch. It is rare that visitors to our factory fail to marvel at the collective skills required to create the crystal they see being made in front of them.

In order to extend appreciation of the craft, a small furnace has been built to specifically enable visitors to receive tuition and blow glass alongside our artisans who may well be blowing the crystal used by James Bond in Casino Royale or Downton Abbey.

We are delighted to welcome Clare Wilson to the team to co-ordinate & deliver an extensive programme of activities. Clare studied for three years at the Edinburgh College of Art and trained for four years at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide, Australia, a highly respected contemporary craft organisation. Combined with extensive teaching experience Clare is well placed to revolutionise the experience on offer by offering hands on opportunities to our visitors both near and far.

15 and 30 minute experiences making coloured glass baubles or paperweights are now available and bookable Saturday – Wednesday. Participants will be guided through every step of the process, selecting different coloured glasses to work with, melting the colour into the liquid glass and then blowing & forming the paperweight or bauble. Paperweights are very hands on & in addition participants will be able to form the liquid glass with wet newspaper held in their hands!

Bauble workshops are available from 8+ years (Starting at £20). Paperweight workshops from 13 years+ (£45). Workshops are suitable for group sizes up to 8 people, reservations are recommended especially at busy times, drop in sessions are available subject to availability.

In the coming weeks we will expand the programme to include a three hour tumbler workshop suitable for up to three people, plus half and full-day glass blowing tuition packages suitable for up to two people. These present the perfect opportunity to share an amazing creative experience and develop glass blowing skills, or to give someone an amazing present (gift vouchers are available).

For further details, or to book, please contact:

beth@cumbriacrystal.com

www.cumbria crystal.com/blow-a-bauble

+44(0)1229 584 400