Picking out a new Christopher Radko ornament every holiday season is a tradition for some. Each ornament is a mouth-blown, hand painted, European glass, work of art. But, we wouldn’t have the ornaments if it wasn’t for a family tragedy.
One week before Christmas in 1984, the stand gave way to the Radko family Christmas tree, and it crashed to the floor, shattering almost every single one of the family’s collection of over 2,000 mouth-blown, European glass ornaments.
Christopher decided he wanted to replace the ornaments, but in the United States most ornaments were made of plastic and styrofoam at the time. The following Spring, while visiting cousins in Poland, Christopher began looking for glass ornaments. While he didn’t find exactly what he was looking or, Christopher did find an artisan eager to revive the art of his great-grandfather; a tradition once thought to be lost forever.
Christopher encouraged the artisan to find antique ornament molds. Christopher also supplied him with sketches of his own childhood favorites and new designs. Several dozen ornaments were created at first for his family, but were quickly purchased by friends. On his next trip abroad, Christopher brought back more ornaments: many for his family and some extras, which quickly sold out, as well.
Christopher realized he had discovered something wonderful. He went door-to-door to stores in New York City, showing his designs. Georg Jensen, a top of the line jewelry store, was his first retail account.
Today, after a quarter century and a transfer in ownership, the Christopher Radko Company has produced more than fifteen million fine European glass ornaments and grown to encompass several additional lines of holiday decor.
Christopher Radko Fine European Glass Ornaments are produced in Europe by a seasoned team of artists and craftsmen, many of whom have been with the company since its very inception. Each piece is meticulously crafted by hand, using Renaissance-era carving, molding, glass blowing, silver lining, hand painting and finishing processes that require both unparalleled skill and several weeks to complete.
The finished ornament is worthy to be any family’s heirloom.