Station: [26] G – Glass from Thuringia: Oak Tree

  • Glasmuseum Wertheim


Arno Müller-Bauer from Thuringia completed the Oak tree with birds in around 1930 using a blowtorch. He captured the characteristics of the oak tree by using green glass rods for the gnarled tree trunk and shaping the leaves with pincers. The most captivating of all however are the different sorts of birds made using a glass blowers pipe. They are so true to nature that they can be recognised easily: the great spotted woodpecker, buzzard, oriole, robin, owl, great tit, common chaffinch, magpie, kingfisher, crossbill and others. There are 18 of them altogether and a squirrel.


The first glass foundries in the Thuringian Forest belonged to monasteries, which, during the 12th century, mainly produced panes of glass for monasteries and churches. During the 14th century the glassmakers in these forest foundries began making the first glasses and bottles. When these foundries were relocated from the forest into the villages and the blowtorch was introduced in around 1770, Thuringia developed into a flourishing „lampworking,“ home industry. Coloured glass rods and glass tubes were predominantly made into animal motifs, which were then exported all over the world as porcelain figurines.


Lauscha became the centre of the lamp work and Christmas tree decoration industry, while at the same time Ilmenau developed into a centre for technical and pharmaceutical glass. Towards the end of the 19th century Jenaer Scott & Associates Glassworks developed into a world concern for optical and technical glass. The Thuringian laboratory glassblowers held their supremacy until the Second World War, but along with the flow of refugees out of Thuringia, the centre of the laboratory glass industry relocated to Wertheim.