Blown glass as decorative art: De Oude Horn


It wasn’t until the 20th century that glass artists began to consider themselves as a part of the fine arts. In the period before the 20th century, the use of glass was mainly connected to the manufacturing of window glass, containers and tubing.

In the 1970's a movement of “studio glass” started. It consisted of glassblowers, who worked outside of factories, often in their own studios.

One of the studios, created in 1977, still stands to this day: Glasblazerij De Oude Horn located at Acquoy in The Netherlands. Willem Heesen, a glass artist and the man behind the glass workshop is known to have had a great impact on Dutch glass art. After his retirement in 1995 his son, Bernard Heesen took over De Oude Horn and as of 2017 he still owns and works at the glass workshop.

Anahí Clemens visited this historical place November 2016 to photograph the glassblowing - and the making of art - in action.


Entrance to the showroom.


Bernard blowing glass.


Some of the previously made glass works hang from the roof in De Oude Horn.


Bernard works with his 3 colleges, Debby Eerens, Francine Vermeer and Rosa Cornelissen.


Close-up of some of his work. Bernard is known for using second-hand glass found in thrift shops and at flea markets.


Bernard is internationally known for his glass art and has had his art exhibited at museums all over the Netherlands as well as in Germany and France.


Bernard has been interested in glass art since his father, Willem Heesen, opened the workshop in 1977. Before mastering glass blowing, he studied architecture.




Blowing glass is renowned for its hot furnaces, reaching temperatures of more than 1000 degrees celsius.


Bernard is known as a heavy smoker, often seen with a cigarette in his mouth while he works.

You can visit Glasblazerij De Oude Horn on Facebook if you're curious to know more about the glass workshop. You can also check out Anahí's video below, that she made during her visit at the workshop.


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