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.

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Studio Glass movement
Glass Dictionary Term

A movement that began in the United States in the 1960s and has spread all over the world. It is characterized by the proliferation of glass artists who are not affiliated with factories, but work with hot glass in their own studios. The emergence of independent glass artists was made possible by

Sweetmeat
Glass Dictionary Term

A vessel for serving sweetmeats, sweet food such as preserved or candied fruit and sugared cakes or nuts. sweetmeats sweet meat sweet meats Sweetmeat Glass

Table set
Glass Dictionary Term

A group of matching objects comprising a sugar bowl, creamer, spoon holder, and butter dish. table sets table-set 4-piece Toy Table Set

Taglia
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian) A square-ended knife used to shape or sculpt molten glass on the blowpipe. taglias

Tank
Glass Dictionary Term

A large receptacle constructed in a furnace for melting batch. Tanks, which were first used in antiquity, replaced pots in larger glass factories in the 19th century. tanks

Taperstick
Glass Dictionary Term

A tall, thin vessel for tapers. Tapers are long wicks coated with wax for use as a spill. tapersticks taper stick taper sticks taper-stick taper-sticks Spill holder 2 Tapersticks

Tazza
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Italian, “cup”) An ornamental dish or cup on a stemmed foot. Tazzas were generally made for drinking, for displaying fruit or sweetmeats, and as purely decorative objects. tazzas taza tazas Drinking Tazza

Teardrop
Glass Dictionary Term

A drop-shaped air bubble enclosed in a glass, usually in the stem. teardrops tear drops tear drop tear-drop tear-drops Goblet

Tessera
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Latin, “small square tablet or block”) A small piece of glass or other suitable material, used in the formation of mosaics. tesseras tesserae Ring

Threading
Glass Dictionary Term

The process of winding a thin trail of glass around an object to create the appearance of parallel lines. In 1876, W. J. Hodgetts of Stourbridge, England, patented a machine that produced very regular and closely spaced threads. threaded thread Lemonade glass

Tieback
Glass Dictionary Term

A device for holding a drawn curtain back from the window. Some 19th- and 20th-century tiebacks have glass pommels or bosses. tiebacks tie-back tie-backs tie back tie backs Curtain Tie Back

Toddy plate
Glass Dictionary Term

A popular term for a small pressed glass plate, made between about 1830 and 1870, presumably as a saucer under a toddy glass. Toddy is a beverage composed of whiskey or another liquor, hot water, and sugar. toddy plates toddy-plate toddy-plates Toddy Plate

Toilet bottle
Glass Dictionary Term

A bottle for perfume or toilet water. Ancient Roman toilet bottles are frequently known as unguentaria. toilet bottles toilet-bottle Toilet Bottle

Tool
Glass Dictionary Term

Any instrument used by glassworkers to develop and shape an object. Glassworkers’ tools include the blowpipe, pontil, gathering iron, jacks, shears, clapper, pallet, block, pincers, battledore, lipper, and crimper. tools

Trail
Glass Dictionary Term

A strand of glass, roughly circular in section, drawn out from a gather. trails Cone Beaker

Trulla
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Latin) The popular term for an ancient Roman dipper in the form of a shallow bowl with a single horizontal handle. trullas trullae Pan

Tureen
Glass Dictionary Term

(from French terrine, “flat-bottomed dish”) A deep, usually oval bowl with a lid, for serving soup; also, a smaller vessel with the same form, for serving sauce or gravy. tureens turene turrene turreen Covered Bowl

Twist
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of decoration in the stems of 18th-century and later drinking glasses, made by twisting a glass rod embedded with threads of white glass, threads of colored glass, columns of air (air twists), or a combination of all three. twists

Undercutting
Glass Dictionary Term

The technique of decorating glass in high relief by cutting or carving away part of the glass between the body of an object and its decoration (e.g., on a cage cup). undercut undercuts Cage Cup

Unguentarium
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Latin), pl. unguentaria. A term commonly applied to ancient Roman toilet bottles. It appears, however, that the term was “invented” in the 19th century, on analogy with unguentarius (perfume seller) and similar Latin words that the Romans used in connection with perfumes. unguentaria Toilet

Uranium glass
Glass Dictionary Term

Glass colored with uranium oxide. The earliest reference to uranium glass appears to date from 1817. It was made popular by Josef Riedel in and after 1834. See also Annagelb (which is yellow) and Annagrün (which is green). uranium glasses uranium-glass Cut Uranium Glass Vase

Vermiculée
Glass Dictionary Term

(French, “vermiculate”) design: A convoluted ground pattern resembling worm tracks. vermiculées vermiculee vermiculé vermicule

Vetro a fili
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian, “glass with threads”) A type of blown glass made with canes that form a pattern of parallel lines. vetro a filis vetro a file Goblet

Victory beaker
Glass Dictionary Term

A first-century A.D. Roman mold-blown drinking vessel inscribed in Greek with words meaning “Take the victory.” victory beakers victory-beaker victory-beakers Beaker

Warzenbecher
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “wart beaker”) A heavy glass tumbler made of forest glass and decorated with prunts. It was produced in Germany in the 16th and 17th centuries. warzenbechers warzenbecker warzenbeckers Warzen becher Prunted Beaker

Waster
Glass Dictionary Term

A defective object discarded during manufacture. Wasters are routinely recycled as cullet. wasters

Water set
Glass Dictionary Term

A pitcher with matching tumblers, sometimes with a matching tray. water sets water-set 7-piece Toy Water Set

Weathering
Glass Dictionary Term

Changes on the surface of glass caused by chemical reaction with the environment. Weathering usually involves the leaching of alkali from the glass by water, leaving behind siliceous weathering products that are often laminar. whethering weathered Statuette of Venus

Wheel engraving
Glass Dictionary Term

A process of decorating the surface of glass by the grinding action of a wheel, using disks of various sizes and materials (usually copper, but sometimes stone), and an abrasive in a grease or slurry applied to a wheel, as the engraver holds the object against the underside of the rotating wheel.

Williamite glass
Glass Dictionary Term

A late 17th- and 18th-century English drinking vessel engraved with a toast, a symbol (an orange tree, for example), or a motto supporting William of Orange (King William III, r. 1689-1702), or with his portrait. William III was a Protestant, and his political opponents were the Roman Catholic

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