Monday, October 13, 2008

Swarovski Museum, Wattens, Tirol, Austria

As Ursula and I drove towards the Swarovski Museum, I was expecting to get a guided tour of part of their factory, and learn how they design, cut, and use the crystals they are world-famous for. I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

First off, apparently, no one goes to the factory, as Swarovski guards their technique. My first clue of what was to come, was the entrance to the museum, which looked like a large snake’s mouth. I remember thinking… this should be interesting.. and was it ever!

The Swarovski museum is a combination of creativity, art, design, innovation, and pure, simple fun. Once we made it through the snake’s mouth, we entered the main room (called Fascinating Extremes), where the feature is the largest, and smallest crystal in the world. You can see the largest crystal here, and well, it just wasn’t possible to take a photo of the smallest…. as one had to look through a special magnifying tool.

The museum is comprised of a series of rooms, each with its own theme and innovation. Often a designer or artist created the theme and design of the room. As our tour of the museum continued, we walked from exhibit to exhibit, and I was thoroughly in awe. Here are a few of the things we saw:

Jim Whitings Mechanical Theatre
– which features a surreal fashion show of sorts. There were garments (covered in crystals) circling the room, pants dancing the cancan, mechanical mannequins walking, and more.

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