Inside Baccarat Manufacture: Glassmaking & More

Visiting the Baccarat Manufacture in Lorraine is a special honor reserved to very few. Learn about our special glassmaking processes, history, and more.

INSIDE THE BACCARAT MANUFACTURE
Visiting the Baccarat Manufacture in Lorraine and discovering the intricate glassmaking process is a special honor reserved to very few. The journey through the famous factory brings to light a unique mix of craftsmanship, legacy, and divine, all starting and ending at the “chateau” — the former residence of the factory General Manager. It’s here in the chateau that visitors are provided with security goggles and shoes to safely enter the heart of the factory, before ending their explorations with a tour of the private museum — rich in unique pieces from perfume bottles to giant candelabras.

 

HOW IT'S MADE: BACCARAT GLASSWARES
Making a Baccarat crystal piece takes patience, precision, expertise, and a whole team of people. From the time the alchemy happens in the furnace, mixing the sand and potasse, to when the final touches are made, more than 30 hands (with at least 15 years of experience each) have participated in the making of the most unique pieces. The discovery takes you through the different stages of glassmaking:

The hot process
It all starts when the sand mixture reaches 1450 degrees Celsius
The hot glass in fusion is then collected to be free blown or molded
From there, the cooling process begins
The cold process 
Pieces are polished and finished
They are then enhanced by a combination of engraving, manual etching and gilding
The final touch is where we apply the official hallmark
WATCH A BACCARAT CHANDELIER BEING MADE:

THE BACCARAT LEGACY: THE MOLD STORAGE, ARCHIVE & MUSEUM
One can only imagine the number of hours, broken attempts, and destroyed glasses it sometimes takes to arrive at the final piece, balanced and scintillating to perfection. 

This knowledge and craftsmanship enables the most demanding requests, as well as the most extravagant custom orders. A visit to Baccarat isn’t complete without a stop at the mold storage room, the archive, and the museum, all providing visitors with an intriguing glimpse into the unlimited possibilities of Baccarat glass. From a delicate Beauvais glass for the Elysées palace, or the Joséphine Baker square plates, to the Guerlain turtle black perfume bottle and the 410 chandelier, our fine glasswork takes many forms.

Shelves full of glass moulds in the Baccarat storage room.

THE DIVINE: THE LOCAL CHURCH CRYSTAL STAINED-GLASS
Another must-see stop at Baccarat is the Saint-Rémy church. A perfect example of post war architecture, and built around the same time as Le Corbusier’s Chapel in Ronchamp, the building is adorned with four thousand crystal stained glass panels. At the time of production, the factory was producing six or seven colors when the artists requested a palette of 52 colors. After production was complete, the craftsmen realized that they produced an impressive rainbow of 150 shades — making the church a unique part of the Baccarat legend.

Baccarat’s beautiful stained glass at Saint-Rémy church.

Around the world, the legacy of Baccarat is well alive, continuing to take new leaps and inspire new artists each year.

Learn more about Baccarat glassmaking, from the hot to the cold process.