Sunday, August 2, 2009

Flowers in Crystal: Swarovski Silver Crystal

Flowers done in crystal! I've been a big fan of Swarovski Crystal for decades, but once they began introducing flowers, I was really smitten! Here's their story.

In 1892 Daniel Swarovski patented a machine to cut crystal and the industry was never the same again. He moved his company from what is now the Czech Republic to Wattens, Austria, so that he could harness the power of water there. In the 1950's, working with the designer Christian Dior, the Aurora Borealis effect in crystal was invented. No red carpet event is complete without some Pretty Young Thing wearing Swarovski, either their fabulous jewelry, or a crystal-adorned gown or bag.

The Silver Crystal Collection began in 1976. It was shortly after this time that I discovered them, seeing the famous Silver Crystal Mouse somewhere in my travels. He was composed of chandelier parts, and created especially for the Innsbruck Winter Olympics. From that point on, I never took a trip without buying a piece of Swarovski for my collection. Though his little ear is broken, I still have that original mouse.

An exciting new introduction this year is the Rocking Flowers collection, which have a rounded crystal base that allows the flower to gently sway back and forth.

The Swarovski Collectors Society was founded in 1987 and I was excited to be in the first wave of members, as I continue to be today. Over the years, I've attended Members Only events, met some of the designers, (most from Austria), and had some of my pieces signed by them. Every year, Swarovski sends a new piece as a gift for membership.

Many brides are familiar with Swarovski, as their tiaras are true standouts. This year Swarovski has again designed the tiara for the 53th Vienna Opera Ball, named the "Super Nature Tiara".

If you plan to visit Austria, no visit is complete without a stop at Kristallwelten, the official site of Swarovski. It sparkles night and day!

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