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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Flute
Glass Dictionary Term

A very tall and slender wineglass on a short stem. flutes Flute Glass

Flat bouquet
Glass Dictionary Term

A decorative arrangement of canes in a paperweight. The canes imitate a bouquet of flowers and leaves, the flat top of which is parallel to the bottom of the paperweight. flat bouquets

Flashing
Glass Dictionary Term

(1) The application of a very thin layer of glass of one color over a layer of contrasting color. This is achieved by dipping a gather of hot glass into a crucible containing hot glass of the second color. The upper layer may be too thin to be worked in relief. “Flashing” is sometimes used

Firing glass
Glass Dictionary Term

A drinking glass with a bowl, a short stem, and a thick foot. On ceremonial occasions, firing glasses were rapped loudly on the table, making a noise that resembled a volley of gunfire. Firing glasses Beefsteak Club Firing Glass

Fire polishing
Glass Dictionary Term

(1) In the hotshop, the reintroduction of a vessel into the glory hole to melt the surface and eliminate superficial irregularities; (2) in kiln working, exposing the object to significant heat so that it assumes a smooth surface. fire polish fire polished fire polishes

Finial
Glass Dictionary Term

An ornamental knob. finials Engraved Covered Beaker

Finger bowl
Glass Dictionary Term

A bowl to hold water for rinsing the fingers at the table. Finger bowls Lambton Finger Bowl

Figural bottle
Glass Dictionary Term

A molded bottle in the form of a head or any of a variety of objects. The term is usually applied to American glass of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Figural bottles

Feathering
Glass Dictionary Term

The process of dragging a tool across a series of trails while they are semi-molten to impart a pattern resembling feathers feathered Combed decoration Bead with Feather Pattern

Faceting
Glass Dictionary Term

The process of grinding and polishing an object to give the surface a pattern of planes or facets. facetes Ewer

Eye bead
Glass Dictionary Term

A bead decorated with applied or embedded circular elements that resemble eyes. Eye beads Composite Eye Bead

Ewer
Glass Dictionary Term

A container with one handle, used for dispensing liquid. ewers Ewer

Epergne
Glass Dictionary Term

(from French) A composite, frequently tiered centerpiece used on the dinner table for serving or display in the late 18th and 19th centuries. epergnes Goddess of Liberty Epergne

Engraving
Glass Dictionary Term

The process of cutting into the surface of an annealed glass object either by holding it against a rotating copper wheel fed with an abrasive or by scratching it, usually with a diamond. engrave engraves engraved Carving Cutting Stippling Goblet with a Hunting Scene

Enamel
Glass Dictionary Term

A vitreous substance made of finely powdered glass colored with metallic oxide and suspended in an oily medium for ease of application with a brush. The medium burns away during firing in a low-temperature muffle kiln (about 965°-1300°F or 500°-700°C). Sometimes, several firings are required to

Drop burner
Glass Dictionary Term

A burner that was dropped into the font of a whale oil lamp and held above the fuel by a metal plate larger than the aperture in the font. Drop burners Sparking Lamp

Dromedary flask
Glass Dictionary Term

A small container consisting of a blown glass flask adorned with trails that may form an openwork “cage” and fused to the back of a camel-like animal, made by manipulating hot glass. Dromedary flasks were made in Syria between about the sixth and eighth centuries A.D. Dromedary flasks

Drip pan
Glass Dictionary Term

A fixed or removable tray beneath the socket of a candlestick or the font of a lamp, which prevents spilled fuel or molten wax from escaping. drip pans

Drilling
Glass Dictionary Term

The process of using a rotating drill to make a hole. drill drills

Dresser set
Glass Dictionary Term

A set of matching perfume bottles, powder jars, and similar containers, kept on a woman’s dresser. Dresser sets 5-piece Dresser Set

Drawn stem
Glass Dictionary Term

The stem of a drinking or serving vessel that is drawn out from the main gather rather than formed from a separate gather and then applied. Drawn stems Jacobite Portrait Wineglass

Dragon-stem goblet
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of goblet with the stem in the form of a dragon with a convoluted body, outspread wings, open jaws, and a crest. Known in Italian as vetri a serpenti (serpent glasses), dragon-stem goblets were first made in Venice in the 17th century. They were imitated in the Netherlands by producers of

Dolphin candlestick
Glass Dictionary Term

A pressed glass candlestick with a stem in the form of a dolphin, originally made in New England between about 1840 and 1860. Dolphin candlesticks

Die sinker
Glass Dictionary Term

A maker of metal molds. Die sinkers

Dichroic glass
Glass Dictionary Term

Glass that is one color when seen by reflected light and another color when light shines through it. This is sometimes due to the presence of minute quantities of colloidal gold. Today, some glassmakers achieve a similar effect by applying a dichroic coating to glass that otherwise would not have

Diamond-point engraving
Glass Dictionary Term

The technique of decorating glass by scratching the surface with a diamond. Diamond-tipped tools may have been used by the ancient Romans and in the medieval Islamic world, but they were popularized by the Venetians in the 16th century. Diamond-point engraving was carried to some of its greatest

Decanter
Glass Dictionary Term

A decorative bottle with a stopper, used for serving wines and spirits. decanters Decanter and Stopper

Cutting
Glass Dictionary Term

The technique whereby glass is removed from the surface of an object by grinding it with rotating wheels made of stone, wood, and cork. The first stage of the process employs a stone wheel under a continuous stream of water. Later, wheels of fine-grained stone and wood, fed with various abrasives,

Custard glass
Glass Dictionary Term

A vessel for an individual serving of custard, a sweetened mixture of milk and eggs, which can be baked, boiled, or frozen. Custard glasses

Cup plate
Glass Dictionary Term

A small plate on which users set their tea or coffee cup while drinking from the saucer. Between about 1825 and about 1865, it was fashionable to drink from saucers, and cups were placed on cup plates to avoid staining the tablecloth. Cup plates Cup Plate

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