Author Topic: Scancrystal / Scankristall  (Read 3328 times)

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Offline a40ty

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Scancrystal / Scankristall
« on: March 03, 2008, 08:21:08 AM »
Hi Ivo,
It's very difficult to find anything in English about Scancrystal or, it's proper name, Scankristall. But here's a link to the Järvakandi Glassmuseum..
http://klaasikogu.virtuaalmuuseum.ee/index_html

If you scroll down to the very last line, that was the type of block they were using then.
Number three from the bottom ( õvn ) is one of the things we imported, ditto " klaasmuna" a couple of lines up.

Scan crystal or Scankristall has, I think, an interesting history. Or perhaps it's because I was involved, albeit in a very minor way. These are my personal recollections; if I  have misremembered anything, I apologise.

Up to the time of the USSR collapse, the glass factory in Tallinn was a major supplier of glassware to the city of Moscow. The factory itself was enormous, it spread over a number of football pitches and raw materials were freighted by train into it's centre. I do not know what it was called then. Once the USSR was divided up, the factory no longer produced anything and the employees of course had no jobs.

The company I worked for had contacts with a Swede who had invested some money in what was left of the factory .. a handful of glassblowers who had made small items after work ( friggers, right?)and some delapidated ovens. He bought new ovens and formed, together with the ex-manager, the company “Scankristall”.

 Now the hard slog to overcome socialist traditions began. Up until then, the raw materials just arrived and were used. The word "customer" was completely unknown, as was the concept of marketing.
Also, what to produce and in what quantities? The word "profit" was another unknown. Now, the costs of everything had to be worked out.. raw mass, colours, wages, lighting etc. How to package things so they wouldn't break, the cost of the packaging. Quality control, another new term.
In June 1995 we visited the factory and met the blowers and the management. I remember that the blowers were very surprised but pleased that their friggers (eggs) were of interest to us.There was a lot of head-scratching on both sides but it was very exciting and very challenging for all involved.
To start with we imported the eggs but quickly had to tell the blowers to change the colours.. they were using sickly pinks and greens which didn't work for western customers. It took a while but they eventually found the right balance.
We could actually see which person had made which egg, not because they were signed but because each man had his own way of doing things.. there was one who constantly produced eggs with brownish glass and another who always had an extra bubble in the exactly the same place, every time.
We could see the growing selfconfidence with each delivery; the quality improved as did the compexity of the items. We really looked forward to opening every box!  ;D
We discussed with them the possibility of making souvenir "blocks" but, as I said earlier in the thread, they weren't good enough quality.
The company then produced pretty apple paperweights and then small birds, all of which sold very well.
Our involvement with the company ended when a new buyer was employed.  She wouldn’t accept anything non-Scandinavian  >:(

Gosh, this is a bit of an aside, isn't it?

The Reijmyre is pretty horrible ;)




Offline Ivo

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Scancrystal
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008, 07:59:27 AM »
I assume it is the Lorup place? The Meleski glass factory started in 1795, after Estonia's independence in 1918 was taken over by Estonian industrialist Johan­nes Lorup. The factory was nationalized in 1940 and Lorup deported to Siberia. After Estonia regained independence, the factory maintained the name Lorup, but meanwhile new owners changed the name to Glasstone.
Ivo
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Offline a40ty

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Re: Scancrystal
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2008, 12:16:39 PM »
I'm not 100% sure that it is the Lorup place. Will do a bit of searching and let you know  :)


Offline David E

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Re: Scancrystal
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008, 06:30:22 PM »
Interesting topic - I came across Glasstone here: http://www.glasstone.com/index.php?main=101 which appears to be the successor.

Also a mention of a Glasstone shop being 5kms from Tallinn here: http://www.ttw.ee/54261

Quote
The shop is situated about 5 km from the centre, in Northern Tallinn (Kopli district).

Not sure if this helps.
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Offline a40ty

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Re: Scancrystal
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008, 07:32:58 PM »
I found those sites too, David. Tried downloading their catalogue but even with my pretty quick connection, it would take 1 h. 40 mins, no way. :o
Something that was interesting was the mention of chandeliers.. there was a workshop, separate from the glassblowing section which literally dripped with chandeliers. There were boxes upon boxes of loose prisms.It may be the same place..


Offline taylog1

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Re: Scancrystal
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2008, 08:07:57 PM »
a40ty

just managed to download it - 6 meg
It actually only took about 10 min, but if you send me your e'mail I'll send a copy

glassmessages at 3-1415 dot com

taylog1


Offline a40ty

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Re: Scancrystal / Scankristall
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2008, 05:28:25 AM »
taylog1.. :kissy:


Offline a40ty

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Re: Scancrystal / Scankristall
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2008, 09:22:10 PM »
Thanks a million, Taylog1.

I have had a look at " glasstone"catalogue.. I didn't need to go half way through it before I became 200% convinced that this is the factory I visited in 1995;the candleholders " waterdrop" ,birds and the apples and pears are exactly the same. The eggs have evolved, I think they were better then but that is probably subjective  ;) They were not high-class but they were  an unexpected and welcome way out of unemployment and poverty.

I must say that the repertoire is vastly increased since then; the only drinks glasses available were very large beer glasses, blown in an optic form ( hope that is the correct expression). I bought 12 of them, at less than 1$ a piece, they remain a favourite in our home, even if we have to pour 1½ bottles into each glass!

I returned to Tallinn a few years later and was delighted to  see that glass had become of interest; there were several engravers/ sandblasters represented in an exhibition at the town hall.  :hiclp:





Offline a40ty

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Re: Scancrystal / Scankristall
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2008, 09:21:31 PM »
Hi Ivo and David E. and all you others too, of course..
Just talked with my connection and yes, Scankristall was re-born from Lorup. Scankristall went bankrupt, the old buildings are now torn down and Glasstone has taken over the blowers, ovens etc.


 

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