Sara Sorribes is an innovative cristal artisan, third generation in a family that is being almost a century in this profession – the family company, Artesanía en Vidrio J. Sorribes, was founded in Valencia in 1920. In September 2012 starts an initiative linked –obviously- to crystal: Crling! By Sara Sorribes.
Let’s get closer to your career, which, as we suppose, is very linked to your family’s artisan company, with three generatios dedicated to the profession of glass-blowing. Yes. Since I was a child I saw how my parents worked in the workshop all day long. Then me and my sisters went with them, and between our homework we started doing our little things. My father, as a good father, decided that we had to study, because being an artisan was very difficult, and actually, it was. I studied, travelled and worked outside home. One day, as my mother was ill, I started going to the workshop. First, just a few hours, then days, and since that moment I am there. Almost nineteen years, two as apprentice, eight as coordinator and three as owner.
Step by step. In the beggining it was very hard but life has the habit of rewarding me sometimes. First, we had the honour of doing some restorations in Valencia, like “Los Baños del Almirante”. Then we become fully envolved with Expo Zaragoza, with the water pavilion; it was a great collaboration with designer Ricardo Calero.
A finalist award in innovation in the National Prizes of 2010 made everything awake. With agile mind we started with Crling!. For sure, without not leaving our work with big firms like Paola Dominguin. At this moment we are working with Sanserif and their new project Esencia II. And well, we keep going…always looking ahead…step by step.
How and why does Crling! starts? Because we needed it! Two years ago I started to collaborate with the Polytechnic University of Valencia making prototypes for the students. Since then we had a proposal of collaboration witn a Mexican university and without noticing it we had fantastic designs not knowing what to do with them…Finally it was decided to do an exhibition and from that point on our approach came: and then what? What are we going to do next? Put everything in a drawer? No, we are creating a brand. A brad that will bring life to the products. That way, they will have a future in Crling!
It was then when I surround myself with a team of creatives that collaborated with me until the end and they still do.
How would you define Crling!’s product? Crling! doesn’t offer just craftmanship, but something more. All our pieces are exclusive, there are not two alike. But they all have the same essence…It offers alive designs, with present, past and future. All the designers that have participated have a dream, they share a feeling. And they have expressed it in their pieces.
Who are your main clients? How would their profile be? Clearly they are people who look for exclusivity, without forgetting the meaning of the piece. In Crling! we believe in feelings. You don’t buy a piece because is just nice, you buy it because is smart, exclusive, but above all, because you like what it tells. You feel reflected in it. We create alive pieces! In the same way as the familiar company. Our clients look for exclusivity, professionality…and that is the base of Artesanía en Vidrio J. Sorribes: well done work.
Could you explain which techniques do you use and what are they about? In Vidrio J. Sorribes we use different techniques, we work for the client. The client proposes and we produce the piece with the most adequate technique. Above all, we use the glass-blowing technique but we also work on the crystal-fusing, the sculpt, varnished and sand-engraved. In this case I’m going to talk about the glass-blowing because I think is one of the most beautiful techniques, old and tradicional. If there are words that can describe this technique are art and exclusivity. The pieces are worked on one by one, in an individual way, without the use of moulds or machines, using the same tools that were used in the origins of the technique: a blowlamp which in its highest point reaches 1.300 degrees. In this way, we achieve that the ending and delicacy of the pieces is superior to an industrial process.
For example, crystal beads for costume jewelry are made by the glass-blowing technique. Its fabrication consists on share out homogeneously in a mandrel, previously prepared with a separating, a bit of molten crystal with the blowlamp.
Once it is shared out only giving shape to it is left. With the blowing-glass technique we could make necklaces beads, trinkets, figures, lab-ojects etc.
In which product or line are you working on now? The truth is that in Artesania en Vidrio we don’t stop, we are always creating. Independently of Crling! Artesania works for firms creating unique pieces. One of our last collaborations has been with Paola Dominguin’s firm. It has just developed a line of crystal-jewelry that won’t disappoint anyone. Elegant, exclusive, fun…to sum up, beautiful. On the other side, in this moment we collaborate with Sanserif Creatius in their Project Esencia II, which will be a success, we are sure of that.
The craftmanship sector in Spain and in the Valencian Community will be reinforced or weaken because of the crisis? Here I am going to be very sincere. To me, when I notice that one of my mates of the sector is closing, is very sad. Obviously, If we are less people, we will have more work, but this is a doubled-edged sword because that it also shows that there is less demand, and, evidently, less professionals in the sector. This situation has weaken us, no doubt, but now more than ever artisans have to create, be ready for action… this is hard, very hard but it is what we have to deal with.
Look, years ago I was asked in an interview why I am a crystal artisan, and I replied without doubt: because the most important thing for me is to smile everyday, and being an artisan I’ve achieved it. I won’t be rich but I’ll be very happy, and I’m!!