How Christopher Radko Ornaments are Made Millions of Americans have discovered something extraordinary in Christopher Radko ornaments. Their radiance and originality makes them more a work of art than an ordinary holiday decoration. It is no wonder that Christopher Radko ornaments are among the fastest growing collectables in the United States.
Each design is crafted by hand using centuries-old processes that require seven days to complete. Cottage workshops in four countries—Poland, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic—produce the ornaments, finials and garlands that are a part of Christopher Radko’s collection. More than 3,000 craftspeople skilled in glassblowing, carving, mold making and hand-painting contribute their talents to Christopher Radko designs.
Once Christopher conceives a design, it is submitted to a carver who works from clay or plaster. The carver then gives the approved piece to a mold-maker. Using a Renaissance-era technique, a sand-cast mold is created from molten metal. This becomes the mother mold, and the ornament-making process can begin.
DAY 1: On the first day of production, the glassblower creates the ornament using the mother mold and clear tempered glass, used by Christopher Radko for its strength. Other ornament makers have used lower-grade glass, increasing the risk of breakage. There is a noticeable difference in the weight of a Radko ornament, making it more solid to the touch.
DAY 2: On the second day, the ornament is injected with liquid sterling, another process done by hand. The silvering gives the ornaments their luminescence and, once again, sets them apart from other glass decorations.
DAY 3 & 4: On the third day, the base of coat of matte lacquer is hand applied: the white on a snowman, for instance, or the red on a Santa. The following day, the fourth day, a second coat application of lacquer adds the ornament’s other vivid colors.
DAY 5: On day five, fine details are hand-painted, like the eyes on the Santa and the tiny seeds on Christopher’s glass strawberries. “I have a woman who only paints eyelashes,” Christopher explains, “and a ‘seed lady’ who paints all the seeds on my fruit ornaments.” With painstaking care, artisans take the ornaments from the realm of decorations to pure works of art. These personalized touches create the charming variations in each ornament that make it a one-of-a-kind heirloom.
DAY 6: On the sixth day, a dusting of glitter is applied to give extra sparkle.
DAY 7: On the seventh & final day, ornaments are inspected to assure of the highest standards of workmanship. Then finishing touches of placing the golden Radko charm and crown (reading “RADKO”) on the ornament are completed. The ornaments are then tagged and packed for shipment.
Designed and created by skilled artisans with a timeless elegance and beauty, these are finely crafted ornaments to be treasured for many generations to come!
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