Bubble glass is a product of Provence, France and is made in the village of Biot, where many glassmaking artisans have shops. Bubble glass was created in the 1950’s by Eloi Monod, and is now made by several glassmakers in Biot.
Bubble glass is handcrafted by a team of glassmakers that includes an Assistant, a Junior Glass Blower, and a Master Glass Blower. The molten glass is mouth blown and hand molded into the desired shape. The characteristic bubbles are created by sprinkling hot glass with sodium carbonate, and the glass is tinted prior to blowing.
Biot bubble glass is very distinctive because of the tiny bubbles incorporated into the glass. Stemware may have clear stems, but the bowl of a glass always contains bubbles. Note that the bubbles are enclosed within the glass, but the glass itself is smooth. This is in contrast with other kinds of bubble glass, such as Anchor Hocking glass, which has a bubbled surface.
Biot bubble glassware is very beautiful and is available in a variety of colors. Most common are clear, pink, green, and blue. Some items are available in different colors, and even in frosted bubble glass, which is exceptionally beautiful.
Each piece of bubble glass is slightly unique because each is handmade. Slight variations in shape, size, and color are not only expected but are a sign of authenticity.
Finding Authentic Biot Bubble Glassware
You can find bubble glassware in many department stores. Finding authentic Biot Bubble glassware is, however, a little more difficult. You could go to France to find it. That would ensure authenticity and be a lot of fun, but it would greatly increase the price of your glassware.
You could also look for French glassware in department and import stores. Authentic Biot glassware is marked with the word “BIOT.” If you do not find that mark, it is a replica.
Replicated Biot Bubble Glassware
Most of the bubble glassware you find in department stores is replicated. It is not as finely crafted or beautiful as authentic Biot glassware, but it is suitable for most purposes.
Replicated bubble glassware is much less expensive than the original, so you are more likely to use it. You can set a beautiful table using replicated bubble glassware that you buy for very little money. It may not be authentic Biot bubble glassware, but it will still be lovely, and you will worry less about breakage. Serve drinks in the replicated glassware and display your authentic Biot bubble glassware.