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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Cutting Glass with a Diamond Saw
Video

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 Leaf
Video

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.

Flameworked Sculpture
Video

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.

Annealing and Tension in Glass
Video

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.

Solder vs. Glass Rod
Video

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.

Air Twist Stem
Video

A technique unique to glass, air twist requires very high quality material for success. When sparkling lead crystal became common in 18th-century England, the air twist technique spread rapidly.

Mold Blowing
Video

By about AD 20, Roman workers had discovered that a bubble of molten glass could be lowered into a mold and then further inflated to fill the mold. In this way, the full-size vessel, complete with elaborate decoration, was made almost instantly.

Ladle Casting
Video

Molten glass can be cast by a method virtually identical to that used for casting metal. Here, molten glass at 2300 degrees Fahrenheit is ladled into a mold made of sand. The process is relatively easy as hot glassworking processes go...but hot!

Prince Rupert's Drop
Video

Don't try this at home! A classic demonstration involving exploding glass: it spectacularly shows both the great strength and vulnerability of glass that has been rapidly cooled from the molten state.

Cane Making
Video

While glass canes can be used alone, for example as stirring rods, usually they are incorporated in vessels or sculpture. An infinite variety of decoration is possible. Here we see two examples that are intended to be viewed from the side.

Building a Goblet on a Blowpipe
Video

Here is virtuoso Venetian-style glassblowing "without a net." One mistake and all is lost! Where "making a goblet from parts" allows mistakes to be isolated and destroyed, this process moves relentlessly forward, allowing no retakes.

Fusing and Slumping
Video

Popular among glass artists today, as it was in the golden age of Greece and the Roman Empire, this technique softens and shapes glass in a kiln. Various preparatory steps are shown in the making of a contemporary sculpture.

Learn About Glass Enameling
Video

It could have been so simple...but it wasn't! Until recent times (about 1800), permanent enamels had to be fired on glass vessels by an amazingly laborious process, shown here. Today, the process really is as easy as it looks.

Coloring Objects
Video

Five different methods of using colored glass are demonstrated; some produce a uniformly colored object, others a splotchy or mottled effect. Glass artists today use whatever method best suits their aesthetic choices.

Bowl with Roman Foot and Folded Edge
Video

Roman glassworkers, tirelessly creative and inventive, were fond of folding and manipulating inflated glass in a variety of ways for different purposes. Two of their characteristic structures—both functional and beautiful—are demonstrated.

Cracking Off
Video

As if glassblowing wasn't fast enough—it takes under three minutes to make a Roman bottle—cracking-off made the process even faster. This technique was well known by AD 20 or so, and cut the manufacturing time of simple tumblers in half.

Chunk Casting
Video

Chunks of glass are placed in a mold, then heated in a kiln until the glass softens and flows downward to gradually fill the mold. Popular with contemporary artists, this method avoids the need for a giant melting furnace filled with molten glass.

Cutting Glass
Video

Cutting thin sheet glass is almost as easy as it looks in this video clip...but not quite! Curves really are much trickier than straight lines. The process shown would have been completely familiar to medieval window glaziers.

Flameworking Glass Sculptures
Video

Learn about flameworking with Corning Museum of Glass experts. Flameworking is the technique of taking glass rods or tubes and heating them in a concentrated flame until they become soft.

GlassLab Design Session: Tom Scott
Video

Designer Tom Scott describes working at GlassLab during a design session at The Corning Museum of Glass, July 24- 25, 2012.

Anne Gant at 2300°: Fire and Wine (January 19, 2012)
Video

Anne Gant is one of the few glass artists to work on paper. Watch as she uses hot glass to make prints and drawings in a fascinating combination of glassblowing and printing or drawing with glass. First, two glassmakers sculpt hot glass into shapes and lines. While the glass is still scorching hot

Artist-in-Residence: Min Jeong Song (October 2011)
Video

"I want the viewer to expereince the process of blurring boundaries between cultures by looking at my work." Song studies ornamental styles across time periods and geography, and her work explores how certain attributes of glass can be used to create ambivalent objects: objects that don&

Gayla Lee: Celebrity Cruise Scholarship Recipient
Video

Gayla Lee was first entranced by glass at the age of eight when she encountered a glassblower at a Renaissance festival. Her fascination with the material eventually led her to an apprenticeship in a Baltimore glass studio at the age of 20. Lee took Davide Salvadore's class, Creating and Using

GlassLab Design Session: Dan Ipp & Tom Zogas
Video

RIT Metaproject students Dan Ipp and Tom Zogas describe working at GlassLab during a design session at The Corning Museum of Glass, July 3- 4, 2012.

GlassLab Design Session: Wendell Castle
Video

Designer Wendell Castle describes working at GlassLab during a design session at The Corning Museum of Glass, June 19- 20, 2012.

Cory Dunnington: Celebrity Cruise Scholarship Recipient
Video

Along with stained glass, Cory Dunnington makes fused and cast glass art. Color inspires much of Cory's work, and Heike Brachlow's kilnworking class, Shaping Color: From Raw Materials to Finished Sculpture at The Studio, gave her the unique opportunity to create the colors she wanted to

2300°: Fire and Wine (January 19, 2012)
Video

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. This video gives you an inside look at the festivities at 2300°: Fire and Wine (Jan. 19, 2012), including music by The Weber Brothers,

GlassLab Design Session: Jon Otis
Video

Designer Jon Otis describes working at GlassLab during a design session at The Corning Museum of Glass, July 17- 18, 2012.

GlassLab Design Session: Sigi Moeslinger & Masamichi Udagawa
Video

Designers Sigi Moeslinger and Masamichi Udagawa describe working at GlassLab during a design session at The Corning Museum of Glass, June 26- 27, 2012.

2300°: Mardi Gras Snow Day (February 16, 2012)
Video

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. This video gives you an inside look at the festivities at 2300°: Mardi Gras Snow Day (Feb. 16, 2012), including music by Curley Taylor &

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