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The History of Mexico’s Blown Glassware

Growing up in California, co-founders Isabella and Kyle have fond childhood memories of drinking agua de jamaica (and eventually margaritas) out of the thick and heavy blue rimmed glasses that could be found at almost every taqueria in Sonoma.

Ultimately leading to the inspiration behind The Mexico Collection, we wanted to learn more about the origin of this iconic style of glassblowing. The very first glass pieces produced in North America were created in Puebla, Mexico around 1535 and introduced by the Spanish. Due to the simplicity of the tools, availability of raw materials, and the vast creativity of the glassblowers, more than 500 years since its inception, this artistic technique continues to thrive across the country. The Mexico Collection features the artistry of Javier Gutiérrez and Efrén Canteras, who have worked together to preserve Mexico's blown glass artistry since the 1990s.

Using a long steel blowpipe to pick a glob of molten glass and, holding the pipe with one hand, they masterfully start shaping the desired piece by blowing through the other end of the pipe using tools with their free hand. They must work fast, while the molten glass is still hot, adding color and other desired effects.

Javier, Efren, and the team of glassblowers in Mexico work with lead-free, un-tempered, recycled glass. Given the hand blown nature of their artistry, it is evident that no two pieces are alike! After finishing your candle, hold your empty vessel up to a light to see a beautiful display of tiny, suspended air bubbles in the glass - a characteristic that is distinctive to hand-blown glass.

Although blown glass originates in Spain and is practiced all over the world, Javier and Efren view Mexico’s blown glass artistry as unique and they have worked hard over the years to create a style that stays true to the country’s 500 year old technique while also adding their own artistic innovation.

Well-Traveled Candle Co. strives to celebrate these traditions by designing a finished product where anyone can have the opportunity to experience Mexico’s glassblowing artistry firsthand. Each candle vessel is crafted using centuries-old techniques and is a beautiful example of Mexico’s unique glass blowing industry.

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