All About Glass
All About Glass
This is your resource for exploring various topics in glass: delve deeper with this collection of articles, multimedia, and virtual books all about glass. Content is frequently added to the area, so check back for new items. If you have a topic you'd like to see covered, send us your suggestion. If you have a specific question, Ask a Librarian at our Rakow Research Library.
Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes the Moorish Bathers, George Woodall's masterpiece. It was started about 1890 and completed in 1898. George and Thomas Woodall left school at about the age of 12 and became apprentices at the firm of J. & J. Northwood. They also attended evening
The history of glass and glass making started over 3500 years ago. David Whitehouse introduces the ancient gallery, which illustrates the glass that was made in the ancient world and in the Islamic medieval period.
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Richard Wistar bottle. The first successful glass factory in the Colonies was established by Caspar Wistar near Alloway, New Jersey, in 1739. Its principal products were window glass and bottles, which were in great demand. More than 15000
Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes "Evening Dress with Shawl" by American artist Karen LaMonte. Karen LaMonte's hauntingly beautiful female figures evoke the fragmented bodies of classical antiquity and the pristine statues of 19th-century American neoclassicism. By using
Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used by glass artist Maurice Marinot to create Bottle. Marinot studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and he exhibited regularly at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants in Paris from 1905 to 1913.
In the cutting room, a steam-powered shaft drove belts that turned the metal or stone cutting wheels. A glasscutter holds the object against the rotating wheel, which is fed with an abrasive slurry.
Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath, describes the techniques used to create "Endeavor" by Italian artist Lino Tagliapietra. A sense of weightlessness characterizes this installation of 18 boat-like forms. Inspired by the sight of the many gondolas that gather at the entrance to the
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Archangel Uriel, created by artist Edris Eckhardt. During the 1950s, the studio crafts gained in popularity and importance in the United States. New techniques were developed by individual designer-craftsmen, who explored new uses for glass, ceramics, wood,
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Bottle created by glass artist Maurice Marinot. Marinot studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and he exhibited regularly at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants in Paris from 1905 to 1913. Although Marinot was developing
Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes a Roman cage cup. Cage cups are the most exclusive luxury glasses made in the later Roman Empire. They date from about AD 250 to the mid-fourth century. Cutting and grinding a single thick-walled blank was a laborious and risky process. If just one mesh
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes this vase created by Tapio Wirkkala, one of Finland's best-known designers. He trained as a sculptor in Helsinki and he approached the decorative arts as a sculptor, but he also appreciated fine handcraft. He worked with a variety of materials,
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes "Black Cube" by Czech artist Marian Karel. Marian Karel uses light, glass, and geometric forms to make illusionistic sculptures that challenge the viewer's perceptions of space. Black Cube is so dark and reflective that it is almost invisible
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Dragonfly Coupe, created by French glass artist Emile Gallé. The love of nature, characteristic of the art nouveau style, is reflected in this remarkable coupe. A poet, designer, and a businessman, Gallé was well-versed in art, literature, botany, and
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Fruit Basket produced by Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. The process of pressing glass was perfected fairly quickly. By the 1840s, it was possible to press large objects without surface defects. This fruit basket illustrates the development of the
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Flask with Mold produced by Stebbins and Stebbins. The manufacture and decoration of hand-blown tableware was a slow and costly process. Glassmakers soon sought ways to speed production and to decorate their wares more inexpensively. One way to do
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Blue Aurene Vase, designed by Frederick Carder. Aurene glass was one of the earliest color effects created by Frederick Carder for Steuben Glass Works. It was first made as an iridescent gold-colored glass, but by 1904 Carder had developed blue
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Cityscape, created by artist Jay Musler. He chose a spherical container blown of industrial Pyrex glass, which he cut in half. He then cut the rim of the hemisphere into a jagged edge, sandblasted it, and airbrushed it with oil paint. The sculpture's
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes "Endeavor" by Italian artist Lino Tagliapietra. A sense of weightlessness characterizes this instillation of 18 boatlike forms. Inspired by the sight of the many gondolas that gather at the entrance of the Venetian lagoon on the feast day of the
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Snake Vase created by glass artist Rene Lalique. This vase in the form of a coiled snake, one of René Lalique's iconic designs, expresses the energy and elegance of the Art Deco style. Lalique's first and very successful career was as a jeweler. In
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes the object "West Sky" by artist Alessandro Diaz de Santillana. De Santillana uses color and form to interpret the four elements of the exterior world—air, earth, fire, and water—and the five senses of the interior world—sight, sound, smell, taste,
Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes "Chartreuse Pair" by American artist Dante Marioni.
Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow describes "Libertà" by American artist Toots Zynsky. In Toots Zynsky's vessels, color reflects and defines emotion, mood, and experience. Her color choices are subjective, instinctual, and grounded in the natural world. Zynsky began to develop her
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes the object "Untitled (White)" by American artist Josiah McElhany. Josiah McElheny is an accomplished glassblower who creates installations inspired by art or glass history, often using a specific historical or literary anecdote as a point of
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Glass Baseball Bat produced by C. Dorflinger & Sons. This piece was presented as a gift to John Edward (Honest Eddie) Murphy of the Philadelphia Athletics, winners of the 1913 World Series. Murphy had played on several baseball teams in the White
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes the object Woven Heaven, Tangled Earth by artist Susan Plum. For Susan Plum, glass is a metaphor for light. She works with it as a way, she says, to "concretize the invisible." Plum prefers borosilicate glass for its high silica content and its
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Lily-pad Pitcher, produced by Lancaster Glass Works. The glass that was used to make this pitcher was also employed in the manufacture of windows because the brilliant, deep aquamarine color would not have been noticeable in thinly blown sheets
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Cheerful Bottle, created by Italian glass artist Dino Martens. Trained as a painter, Dino Martens was the artistic director of the Aureliano Toso glassworks on the island of Murano for many years. There, he produced a variety of designs characterized by
Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes the object "Family Matter" by American artist Jill Reynolds.
Listen as glass artist Eric Hilton describes the techniques used to create Innerland. This piece is a multi-part sculpture that expresses Hilton's concept of the unity of life and of the "inner being, or inner land, which is shared by all people everywhere." The complex design and
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Innerland, designed by glass artist Eric Hilton and executed at Steuben Glass, Inc. This piece is a multi-part sculpture that expresses designer Eric Hilton's concept of the unity of life and of the "inner being, or inner land, which is shared by