What are “BITS?”
The word “bit” (or “prunt”) is a glassblowing term for a small amount of glass that is added to a larger form. The droplet-like additions on the sides of many of our objects are rooted in glass from antiquity. 14th Century Bohemian beer steins, for example, often had bits along the sides to help hands, greasy from medieval meals, grip the glass. In addition to offering traction, these tactile surfaces bring excitement to the fingertips; our kids love using glasses with bits, and so do their parents and grandparents!
Almost all of the world's drinkware today is machine-made. We preserve the tradition of hand-blown glassware because we believe the difference in experience is remarkable; your hands can tell that our hands made these objects. Something we use every day to nourish our bodies deserves to be special! Eli leads our team to make every ASP & HAND object in the hot shop here in Washington State. We start by blowing a bubble of hot glass into a mold to make the initial cup-shape, and then we use metal and wood tooling to open the bubble, refine its form, apply any bits, and stamp the glass before annealing it.
Where does the name “Asp & Hand” come from?
The earliest glass artifacts date back to Egypt and Mesopotamia ca. 3500 B.C. To honor this ancient material, we named our company after the asp snake, whose deadly venom and incarnate skin-shedding powers of ‘rebirth’ granted it holy status in the time of the Pharaohs. As with the asp, danger and veneration are intrinsic to glass; we form it using hand tools yet can never touch it, since it must be molten at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit as we work. We love the idea that there is an aspect of danger in something so beautiful - it reminds us to give great respect to the art form.