Miniature of the Month
Wine Decanter Set by Gerd Felka
It’s hard to believe hand-blown glass in miniature is even possible—the artform in full size is incredibly beautiful and intricate--but German glass artist Gerd Felka accomplishes it in extraordinary detail in fine scale. His ruby colored wine decanter set washed with gold accents in 1/12th scale is prized in the KSB Miniatures Collection, prominently featured in Spencer House.
Gerd, a talented glassblower in all scales, has been crafting hand-blown glass since 1964 when he began as an apprentice making laboratory equipment in Thuringia, Germany. Thuringia, where he still resides, is a small state bordering Bavaria known for its lush forests, tall mountains, quaint medieval architecture and glass Christmas ornaments. The festive glass items are said to have originated there almost two centuries ago and today the area remains home to many independent glass blowers and artists.
Gerd continued making laboratory glassware until 1980 and then turned his focus to producing art glass. In 1990, or as Gerd reflects, “after the fall of the Berlin Wall,” he stumbled upon miniature glassware in a museum and started creating 1/12th- and 1/16th-scale glass items. Many of his peers doubted his creative turn at the time since in the entirety of Germany there were only three miniature shops, but then again, Thuringia was also famous for making glass eyes for dolls and stuffed animals. Perhaps, Gerd’s creation of miniature glassware for dollhouses should have been considered visionary for the artist.
Gerd’s fine-scale work to date includes items from his past employ—laboratory equipment such as glass tubes and apothecary bottles; items native to Thuringia—glass Christmas ornaments that are .3 of an inch tall, glassware, carafes and decanter sets in a wide range of shapes, colors and stoppers, vases and perfume bottles.
The decanter set pictured is an original design of Gerd’s. Miniature artist Margarethe Freudenstein who painted Gerd’s glassware for many years also helped in the creation. Gerd only uses colored glass, not dyed, in his work and the highest quality of gold foil that is virtually weightless, roughly 1/10,000 mm thick. The decanter set is featured in the Great Room of Mulvany & Rogers’ Spencer House where it brilliantly complements the cranberry silk covered walls. Click here to see more of Gerd’s fine-scale hand-blown glass items.