For two thousand years Herat’s distinctive coloured glass was traded along the length of the Silk Road. Mr Nasarullah and his son Khairullah are one of the last in this ancient line of glassblowers. In a mudbrick workshop near Herat’s ancient citadel, their work is keeping this precious industry alive.
Boris de Beijer is a dutch designer who graduated as a jewelry designer from the Rietveld Academie. He has developed his practice in a multidisciplinary manner, working between sculpture and applied design. Craftsmanship and antique techniques have always had a central position in his working methods. He is working on an ever growing series of glassware with expert glassblowers in Amsterdam. Boris has shown his work internationally in galleries and cultural institutions.
Mr Nasarullah makes glass in much the same way as it has always been made. He grinds down raw materials like recycled glass, quartz and natural oxides together to create the vibrant colours which once made Herat’s glass so famous. He blows each individual glass by hand, and fires them in a traditional mud brick kiln.
With the local market for hand blown glass drying up due to the arrival of cheap Chinese glass in Afghanistan, Mr Nasarullah is struggling to find new apprentices. Each sale of Herati glass will help build the stability he needs for his business to grow.