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.
At 2300°: Finger Lakes Finest in January, glassblower Eric Meek and flameworker Eric Goldschmidt, collaborated to make an amphora with flameworked figures an...
Jordana Korsen has been working with hot glass for more than 20 years, focusing on functional work with a sculptural touch. As a glassblower, she creates cle...
Paul Stankard's Demo at 2011 GlassFest in Corning, NY.
Richard Marquis, glassblower and collector of beat-up, vintage objects, has had an extraordinary influence on the development of contemporary studio glass in...
The Corning Museum of Glass presents its popular 2300° series of art happenings each year, featuring live music, hot glassmaking, and great food and drink. T...
The 2012 Rakow Commission honors the Danish artist Steffen Dam, a consummate glass craftsman, who will give an illustrated talk on his work. Although inspire...
Swedish artist Ingalena Klenell has been working with glass since 1976. Her work explores the ideas of fragility and vulnerability, both in the material of g...
Elizabeth Fortunato began studying glassblowing at the Pittsburgh Glass Center through a high school program. She continued working with glass through colleg...
Glassworkers made ring-shaped decanters as early as the Roman period. Due to their novel shape, much like buoys, the personal flotation devices carried on ships, decanters in the early 20th century were called "lifebuoy decanters." Watch as William Gudenrath demonstrates the technique.
Glass makers throughout history have gone to great lengths to eliminate all bubbles from glass. But here, we see bubbles purposefully put into the glass for their decorative effect. In this paperweight, the bubbles surround another gather of glass with twisted canes of colored glass. Watch as
In the 1930s, the Pairpoint Glass Corporation introduced a bold new design called "twist glass," consisting of swirled stripes of ruby or deep blue glass and clear crystal. The complicated technique, already used in Sweden, required many stages including cold working. Watch as William
In the second half of the 19th century, many glass firms used experimental techniques to create decorative art glass. In 1878, the Mt. Washington glass company introduced Sicilian glass. As part of their marketing, the company claimed to have used lava, that is, molten rock spewed out by volcanoes,
Watch as William Gudenrath demonstrates the Reticello technique. Reticello (Italian, "glass with a small network"), is a type of blown glass made with canes organized in a crisscross pattern to form a fine net, which may contain tiny air traps.
Glass that gradually shades from one color to another has ingredients such as uranium and gold, which are sensitive to heat. When part of the object is reheated, it "strikes" or changes color. Heat-sensitive glass became very popular in the late 19th century. Many companies used heat
It doesn't get more complicated than this! Here is the Renaissance Venetian way of making an ornate dragon-stemmed goblet. Pre-made parts are attached using small bits of molten glass as "glue."
A spectacular demonstration unique to glassblowing, ice glass was widely popular in Low Country cities like Amsterdam during the 17th century. Did the abundant canals of Amsterdam and of Venice, where the process was invented, inspire this watery idea?
Decoration in glassblowing at the furnace doesn't get more basic than this. Although it looks easy, glassblowing students struggle for weeks with every step forward!
Everyone knows that wood can be sanded to change its finish; surprisingly, so can glass. Specialized grinding blocks coated with industrial diamonds are best, but regular sandpaper works too.
The next time you're in the dentist's chair, know that the grinding you hear—and feel—could also be taking place on a piece of glass! The very same tool can be used by artists to create beautiful engraved effects.
Learn about how glass is colored with Corning Museum of Glass experts. Colored glass is made by adding small amounts of metal oxides to the batch.
Some of the first glassblowers working in Italy—perhaps as early as 30 BC—made blanks for craftspeople accustomed to decorating hardstone objects. The glassblowing process required two contrasting glasses, usually blue and white.
Essentially the same as lathe cutting, the engraving lathe is generally used for small-scale projects often involving the creation of extremely fine details, such as the eyelashes on a portrait.
See and understand the magical process of making glass from simple materials, by using great heat. Until the most recent times, glassmaking was a closely guarded secret passed on within workshops or even families from one generation to the next, often over hundreds of years.
"Annealed glass," "safety glass," "tempered glass"...Confused? Learn the differences through these Glass-breaking Demos.
Grinding is a process of removal by abrasion. People were grinding stone tools long before the discovery of glassmaking.
Throughout glass history, workers have needed to saw pieces of glass cleanly. Using string and gritty mud-like slurry, ancient Egyptians and Greeks, for example, spent days accomplishing what the modern electric diamond saw does in seconds.
Gold decoration has been popular since Egyptian times. Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic workshops also used it frequently. Beginning in the Renaissance, gold decoration became an indispensable part of the Venetian style.
Artists have proven that glass as a medium for sculpture is virtually without limits. Among hot-working processes, flameworking allows the greatest detail and the smallest scale. Surprisingly though, it can also be used to create sculpture large enough to fill rooms.
Hot-working processes used to form a glass object—glassblowing for example—must be followed by a very gradual cooling period called annealing. See what happens when an object is not properly annealed and learn why it breaks.
See what really sets glass apart from metal and then begin to understand why humans have invented such odd ways of shaping it while hot: core-forming, fusing, slumping, and—oddest of all—glassblowing.