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.

Mechanical Glass Theater (Technique- Family App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make this mechanical glass theater. This miniature theater shows the Wedding at Cana. Look closely and you can see that it is made of shells, rock crystal, fabric, and pieces of glass. Some of the figures are attached to

Toso Chess Set- Family Technique
Video

The pieces in Gianni Toso's Chess Set, made in about 1981, are in the form of Jewish and Roman Catholic worshippers. The kings are a rabbi and a bishop. The tiny details of the figures were made by softening glass in a flame and molding it into the desired shapes.

Marinot Bottle- Technique
Video

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.

Tagliapietra Endeavor- Technique
Video

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

Libenský Installation- Family Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath, describes the techniques used to create "Meteor, Flower, Bird" by Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová convey three messages with this sculpture. Meteor, on the left, represents

Hilton Innerland (Technique- Museum App)
Video

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

Engraving Lathe- Family Technique
Video

Traditional glass engravers use copper wheels mounted on a lathe. The wheels come in many shapes and sizes. An abrasive slurry drips onto the wheel as the engraver works on the design.

McElheny Untitled (White)- Family Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath, describes the techniques used to create "Untitled (White)" by American artist Josiah McElhany. American artist Josiah McElheny reproduced well-known modern designs in opaque white glass. He pays homage to classic 20th-century design.

McElheny Untitled (White)- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath, describes the techniques used to create "Untitled (White)" by 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

Tagliapietra Endeavor- Family Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath, describes the techniques used to create "Endeavor" by Italian artist Lino Tagliapietra, one of the greatest living glass artists. These 18 boats evoke the gondolas of his native Venice. Each boat was blown and then cold worked to create the

Lišková Anthem of Joy in Glass- Family
Video

Anthem of Joy was created by the Czech designer Věra Liškova. It was made by softening, inflating, and manipulating tubes of borosilicate glass (like Pyrex) over a torch. The individual parts were assembled by fusing. Gift of Art Centrum.

Lišková Anthem of Joy in Glass (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used by Věra Lišková to create Anthem of Joy in Glass. Lišková was a talented designer who pioneered the use of borosilicate glass for sculpture. Traditionally, borosilicate glass is used for making laboratory wares for scientists,

The Morgan Cup- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make the Morgan cup. The rarest and most elaborate luxury vessels of the early Roman Empire are cameo glasses. These objects were inspired by relief-cut gems of banded semiprecious stones, such as onyx. Glassmakers cased

Ewer with Lion Mask (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make this ewer known as cane work or filigrana. This Venetian ewer is made with milk glass canes and decorated with applied lion-mask prunts (small ornaments that are like medallions stuck to the outside of a vessel).

Glass Harmonica Technique (Family App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes how this glass harmonica was made. Benjamin Franklin invented this strange musical instrument. It was popular in the late 18th century. Sounds were made by running moistened fingers along the rims of the glasses. Some people were afraid that this

The Corning Ewer Technique- Family
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to create the Corning Ewer, one of the finest pieces of cut glass in the entire Museum! The eggshell-thin colorless glass was covered with a green overlay. After cooling, the green was partly carved away to create the decoration.

Blaschka Case (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes flameworking (or lampworking), the technique used by the Blaschka's to create the objects in this case at the Museum. The display tells the story of two remarkable lampworkers, Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf, who created in glass

Cage Cup Technique- Family
Video

Cage cups were made by Roman glasscutters in the fourth century AD. The entire vessel was cut from a thick-walled glass hemisphere. The metal attachments show that the object was a hanging lamp. Imagine the shadows the "cage" would have cast as the lamplight flickered.

Bird-shaped Vessel (Technique- Family App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used to make this bird-shaped vessel. This was an ancient Roman form of packaging. It was filled with perfume, then the tail was sealed by heating it in a flame. To extract the perfume, the user broke off the tip of the tail. This

Core Formed Vase Technique- Family
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique of making a core-formed vessel. Ancient glassmakers discovered a technique called core forming. A core was formed from dung and clay, then dried. The core was covered with glass. After cooling, the core was scraped out. The bottles

The Corning Ewer (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make the Corning Ewer, an outstanding example of Islamic relief-cut cameo glass. A layer of transparent light green glass was applied to a layer of colorless glass. Most of the outer layer was then cut away, leaving the

Blaschka Case Technique- Family
Video

During their long careers, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka made many thousands of models of small animals and plants. They sold these all over the world, including to Harvard University. Can you guess which objects in this case are not made of glass?

Historical Glassmaking Techniques
Article

See glass scholar and artist William Gudenrath demonstrate historical glassmaking techniques. Façon de Venise Goblet Although in the 16th century the maximum penalty for a glassblower leaving Murano, the “glass island” of Venice, to work elsewhere was death, many did. The Low Countries became home

Reynolds Family Matter- Technique
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes the object "Family Matter" by American artist Jill Reynolds.

Core Formed Vase- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique of making a core-formed vessel. The technique of core forming, which was introduced around the middle of the 16th century BC, was used to fashion some of the first glass vessels. Core forming involves the application of glass to a

Bottle with Handles- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique of making a glass bottle with handles. Although glass vessels were never as cheap as earthenware, they had several advantages. They were easy to clean, they did not impart an odor to their contents, and they allowed one to see the

Tazza with Medici Arms (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used to make this glass object. This Tazza is enameled with the coat of arms of the Medici family combined with crossed keys and a papal tiara, suggesting that they were made for a member of the church, most probably either Pope Leo

Rummer with Raven Seal- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make this Ravenscroft goblet. In March 1674, the English glassmaker George Ravenscroft applied for a patent to make colorless lead glass. Unfortunately, this glass was prone to crizzling, a chemical instability that results in

Verzelini Goblet (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make the Verzelini goblet. Venetian glassmakers were hired in England during the 16th century. One of them was Giacomo Verzelini. In 1571, he was brought to London by Jean Carré, a French native and owner of the Crutched