Vintage Blue Mason Jar Revival

I’m not all too partial to collecting kitchen glassware from any era, however I have a thing for blue glass. Coffee mugs, vintage wine bottles, water jugs, glasses, candle and tea-light holders; Dig them all.

So naturally, my current Mason jar tangent led me to these vintage-looking beauties:


Ball Jar Heritage Collection Pint Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 6

Much like its clear cousin, the blue mason jar shares a rich history.  Although they’re great for canning, I’ve been more inclined to use these antiquated blue mason jars for drinking containers with a Cuppow mason jar lid, gifts, crafts, and DIY projects.

Blue glass gets its deep powder blue hue using cobalt ions derived from cobalt oxide. Long used in impure forms in Chinese porcelain, Cobalt was independently discovered as a pure alumina-based pigment by Louis Jacques Thénard in 1802, and commercial production started in France 5 years later. The first officially recorded use of cobalt blue as a color name in English was in 1777.

A Norwegian company called Blaafarveværket, (“blue colour works” in Dano-Norwegian) was the leading international manufacturer of cobalt blue in the 19th century. Germany was also famous for its production, namely the blue colour works (Blaufarbenwerke) in the Ore Mountains of Saxony.

Toxicity According to Wikipedia, Cobalt blue is toxic when inhaled or ingested. Potters who fail to take adequate precautions when using cobalt blue may succumb to cobalt poisoning, and because of this I’m a little hesitant to buy cheap blue glass at dollar stores. Every year there are a number of news stories decrying harmful substances inside imported goods from China, so I prefer to buy my blue glassware from trusted sources if its coming into contact with food.