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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A Trip Up a Goat Path Unearths Blaschka-Era Lampworking Table
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Who would have thought that a trip up a goat path would lead to the Museum’s acquisition of a 19th-century lampworking table that was part of the 2007 Botanical Wonders exhibition? In October 2006, Steve Gibbs, the Museum’s manager of events marketing, embarked on a mission to find a lampworking

Thérèse Lahaie: Rhythms in Glass
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Rarely does a visitor catch sight of Thérèse Lahaie’s Silver Gray Nocturne Triptych (2005.4.204) in the Museum’s Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family Contemporary Glass Gallery and not walk over or lean in to get a closer look. Something in, or behind, the panels of glass is rising and falling

Portland Vase Iconography
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The Portland Vase is the best-known ancient Roman cameo glass vessel. It is in the collection of the British Museum in London. For some pieces of art, the meaning of a figural scheme is clear; in others, the interpretation takes years to decipher; and in the %%case%% of the Portland Vase, scholars

Reflections on Glass: Telescope Mirrors
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I contrived heretofore, a perspective by Reflexion.       —Sir Isaac Newton, c. 1668 The refracting telescope gave astronomers their first real glimpse of the heavens. Then, it began to frustrate them. At higher magnifications, the instrument’s glass lenses produced distorted images. Pioneering

The Hale Reflecting Telescope at Palomar
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Lenses are used in refracting telescopes. Mirrors are used in reflecting telescopes. The mirrors are ground and polished so that a precise concave surface remains to be coated with a shiny, reflective finish. Mirrors concentrate light and focus all colors of the spectrum in an image. No lens can

Master of Studio Glass: František Vízner
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In 1979, the Museum’s landmark exhibition, New Glass: A Worldwide Survey, introduced to the American public the work of a Czechoslovak glassmaker, František Vízner. Nearly 30 years later, the Museum presented Vizner once again at Corning as a studio glass master. Masters of %%Studio Glass%%:

The Long Road to Success: Fusion Draw Glass
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Both companies were chasing the same thing: the enormous market for flat glass. While Pilkington was working to develop flat glass, Corning Glass Works was developing a process of its own. Fusion draw produced a continuous sheet of exceptionally thin, pristine glass, but it was too slow to compete.

Annealing Glass
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If a hot glass object is cooled "too quickly," it may be strained at room temperature, and therefore may break easily. For small, or thin-walled shapes (particularly those made of glasses having low expansions) the effect may not be serious. For more massive pieces, the strain can be very

Crizzling
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The Stages of Crizzling Stage 1: Initial Stage Presence of alkali on the glass gives the surface a cloudy or hazy appearance. Tiny droplets or fine crystals can form if there is high (above 55%) or low (below 40%) relative humidity. Glass may feel slippery or slimy. Washing will remove alkali from

Chocolate and Glass: A Tasty Comparison
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Dr. Samuel R. Scholes established the first glass science program in the United States at New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University, in 1932. He continued to be a leader in the field of glass science and technology at Alfred for over 40 years. In the essay below, he demonstrates his

From the 1908 Ornamental Glass Bulletin: "Odd Uses of Glass"
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"It was only a few months ago that plans were drawn for a house to be built of compressed opalescent glass bricks to be erected at Beechhurst; L.I. The house will be built, as regards material, very similar to some small one and two story office buildings which have been erected in Des Moines,

Restoring Tiffany
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Here’s the ultimate jigsaw puzzle: take 40 pieces of shattered glass in varying sizes, and hundreds of tiny chips of glass, and put them together to restore a rare Tiffany Peacock Eye Lamp base to its full glory. That’s just what the Museum’s conservator, Stephen Koob, has done. Unless you examine

Master of Studio Glass: Richard Craig Meitner
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The ever-evolving work of American artist Richard Craig Meitner, distinguished by its wit and poetry, reflects a variety of influences and ideas, ranging from Japanese textiles, Italian painting, and German Expressionist graphics, to science and the natural world. A new survey of his work, Masters

Glass of the Maharajahs
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The Tradition of Glass Furniture The tradition of glass furniture began in the early nineteenth century when the Russian Imperial Glass Works created several tables for members of the imperial family. But it was the opening of the 1851 Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in

Glass of the Alchemists
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In the late 17th century, European glassmakers scored two major successes. In Bohemia, the British Isles, and Germany, they produced crystal glass vessels that resembled natural rock crystal. And in Brandenburg, Germany, they also manufactured red vessels—from gold ruby glass—that looked as if they

Glass Behind the Iron Curtain: Czech Design, 1948-1978
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An Interview with Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass This interview was conducted in December 2001 in preparation for the opening of the 2002 summer exhibition at The Corning Museum of Glass: Glass Behind the Iron Curtain: Czech Design, 1948-1978. The Corning Museum of Glass is known for the

René Roubícek
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René Roubícek is another Czech artist who disguised his obvious interest in abstract art in glass design. Like Jirí Harcuba, Roubícek used glass as expressively as possible. While Harcuba focused on engraved decoration, Roubícek experimented with the actual form of the glass, creating shapes that

The Evolution of the Paperweight
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The earliest paperweights appeared in Europe in the mid-1840s. Venetian glassmaker Pietro Bigaglia created and exhibited the first signed and dated weights at the Vienna Industrial Exposition in 1845. He, like other paperweight makers of the time, revived many ancient glassworking techniques to

About Medieval Glass
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Glass in Ancient Rome In the fourth and fifth centuries AD, the glassmakers of the Roman world were in a class of their own. Glassmaking and glassworking were separate activities. Glassmakers used tank furnaces to melt several tons of raw materials in one operation, and glass workers employed many

The Glass Harmonica
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Performers throughout the 1700's produced sounds by gently rubbing the rims of finely tuned wineglasses with their moistened fingertips. Wineglasses were tuned by adjusting the amount of water in their bowls. After hearing a performance played on musical glasses in England in 1761, Benjamin

Staying On-line: Coated Glass
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Glass windows are great, but they waste energy. A glass pane provides only slightly more insulation than nothing at all. Even so, builders were using more, and bigger, windows. Then, in 1973, the energy crisis hit. Harvard University chemist Roy Gordon knew that a tin oxide coating would make

Dante Marioni: Form + Pattern in Glass
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Dante Marioni burst onto the international glass scene at age 19 with a signature style that has been described as the purest of classical forms executed in glass by an American glassblower. His amphoras, vases, and ewers are derived from Greek and Etruscan prototypes, yet they are imaginatively

Jan Kotík
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This vase, which illustrates the abstract style of engraving characteristic of Jan Kotík’s work, was shown for the first time in the United States as part of the special exhibition, Glass 1959. A similar vase was exhibited at the 1959 Moscow Exhibition, where it drew unfavorable attention. The

Art and Design in Glass in Communist Czechoslovakia
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Czech glass, also called Bohemian glass, has been produced since the Middle Ages. Bohemia was a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, and from 1867 to 1918, a province of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the dissolution of Austro-Hungary in 1918, Bohemia was incorporated into the independent

Eight Sledgehammers on Glass: The 'Warrior' Vase in The Corning Museum of Glass
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Since its accession in 1957, the 'Warrior' vase ranks among the highlights of the collection. Glass making had been known in ancient China, but was only reintroduced to China during the reign of the emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) by Jesuit missionaries. 1   The Beijing palace glassworks were

Debora Moore: The 2007 Rakow Commission
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For Seattle-based Debora Moore, the journey from single mom to an artist whose hot-sculpted glass orchids have a growing international following has not been without a few struggles. “When I faced adversity, I would take long walks in the woods,” she said in a phone interview. “I have always found

The Mechanical Press
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Making and decorating a piece of glass took a lot of talent, training, and teamwork. In the 1820's, Americans developed a pressing machine that needed only two people with little experience to make it work. One person brought the hot glass from the furnace to the mold. The second cut off the

A Discovery Waiting to Happen: Glass-Ceramics
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Why did such an important discovery occur so late in the … history of glass, and why was an accident necessary to bring it about?      – Donald Stookey, 1977 Crystals are usually a glassmaker’s enemy. When they form in glass, crystals can change the properties of the material in unwanted ways.

Glass and the Space Orbiter
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The space shuttle has triple paned, optical-quality windows. Thirty-seven window panes in eleven different sizes and shapes are produced for each Orbiter. The %%fused%% %%silica%% outer panes of the forward windshields are designed to withstand high atmosphere reentry temperatures. The inner,

Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass
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Mt. Washington and its successor, the Pairpoint Corporation, was one of America’s longest-running luxury glass companies (1837-1957), one that rivaled its better known contemporaries, Tiffany and Steuben. It constantly reinvented and re-invigorated its business through creativity in texture,

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