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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Moss Agate
Glass Dictionary Term

A variety of Art Glass developed by John Northwood (1836-1902) and Frederick Carder (1863- 1963) in England in the late 1880s. It was made by casing a parison of soda-lime glass with colorless lead glass, then covering it with powdered glass of several colors, and casing it again with lead glass.

Krautstrunk
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “cabbage stalk”) A type of beaker with a cup-shaped mouth and a cylindrical or barrelshaped body decorated with prunts, made in Germany between the 15th and 17th centuries. It was the forerunner of the Römer. Reliquary Beaker (Krautstrunk)

Making Ideas: Experiments in Design at GlassLab
Article

Making Ideas: Experiments in Design at GlassLab showcases the Museum’s signature design program, GlassLab, in which designers are invited to work with hot glass. The exhibition features over 150 design prototypes by nearly 50 international designers. Over the last decade, the field of design has

Grisaille
Glass Dictionary Term

(from French gris, “gray”) (1) A method of decorative painting in monochrome gray especially, but not exclusively, on stained glass windows; (2) brown paint made from iron oxide, which, when fused to the glass, defines details in a stained glass window. Grisaille Lancet

Gadroon
Glass Dictionary Term

A flutelike decorative motif, usually short in proportion to its width, that often approaches an oval form. Posset Pot with Raven's Head Seal

Folded rim
Glass Dictionary Term

A rim that has been folded to double its thickness and thereby increase its strength. fluted rims Footed Bowl with Engraved Decoration

Frosting
Glass Dictionary Term

(1) A matte finish produced by exposing the object to fumes of hydrofluoric acid; (2) a network of small surface cracks caused by weathering. Victoire

Diatreta
Glass Dictionary Term

A term used by Frederick Carder (1863-1963) to describe openwork objects that he made by lost wax casting. Diatreta Vase

Favrile
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of glass with an iridescent surface, patented by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) in 1894. Favrile Ribbed Bowl with Engraved Vine

Masters of Studio Glass: Jiří Harcuba
Article

Heritage means to select the most valuable thing from history and hand it over to the next generation... Prehistorical rock engravings are closer to our contemporary artistic views than classical art. Other manifestations of the primary art of Australia, Africa, and Oceania as well as folk art

Daumenglas
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “thumb glass”) A large cylindrical or barrel-shaped forest glass beaker with circular indentations for the user’s fingers and thumbs. Daumengläser were made in Germany and the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries. Drinking Barrel (Daumenglas)

Core
Glass Dictionary Term

The form to which molten glass is applied in order to make a core-formed vessel. In pre-Roman times, the core is thought to have been made of animal dung mixed with clay.

Caddy
Glass Dictionary Term

A small, lidded container, usually for tea. 3 Piece Sheraton Tea Caddy Set

Carnival glass
Glass Dictionary Term

Inexpensive pressed glass with vivid gold, orange, and purple iridescence, made in the United States between about 1895 and 1924. It is so called because it was frequently offered as fairground prizes. Carnival Glass Bowl in “Marigold Star and File” Pattern

Clichy rose
Glass Dictionary Term

A slice of a cane depicting an open rose. Canes of this type were frequently used in paper-weights made at the Clichy factory in France in the 19th century. Paperweight with Roses and Filigree

Meet the Artist: Fritz Dreisbach
Article

Like most pioneers of the American Studio Glass movement, Fritz Dreisbach was first drawn to the possibilities of blowing molten glass. It was the 60s. He and such early designer-artists as Dale Chihuly and Marvin Lipofsky were happily blowing organic, eccentric, free-form objects purposefully

The Origins of Glassmaking
Article

Little is known about the first attempts to make glass. However, it is generally believed that glassmaking was discovered 4,000 years ago, or more, in Mesopotamia. The Roman historian Pliny attributed the origin of glassmaking to Phoenician sailors. He recounted how they landed on a beach near

Burmese
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of translucent yellow-shading-to-pink Art Glass made by the Mt. Washington Glass Company in New Bedford, Massachusetts, between 1885 and about 1895. Burmese Vase with Lacelike Decoration

Ancient glass
Glass Dictionary Term

A term frequently used to mean all pre-Roman and ancient Roman glass.

Amulet
Glass Dictionary Term

A charm believed to protect the wearer against evil or to bring good fortune. Amulet with Turtle

Abrasion
Glass Dictionary Term

The technique of grinding shallow decoration with a wheel or some other device. The decorated areas are left unpolished. Queen Tomyris with the Head of Cyrus

The Fabulous Monster: Owens Bottle Machine
Article

The most significant advance in glass production in over 2,000 years...     -American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1983 Michael Owens, a self-taught American inventor, propelled the glass industry into the mechanical age. In 1903, he unveiled the world’s first completely automatic glass-forming

Prince Rupert's Drop and Glass Stress
Article

Theoretically, because of the nature of its atomic bonds, glass should be about five times as strong as steel. However, glass tends to have less strength than theory would suggest. One of the main reasons for its loss of strength is surface and internal stress. If glass is cooled too rapidly, high

The Precise Moment: Tempered Glass
Article

Glass breaks. But if it’s strengthened by thermal tempering, it breaks less easily and more safely. By 1920, architects and European car designers wanted more and more tempered glass—and in large sheets. Glassmakers could successfully temper only one sheet in ten. There’s a trick to tempering: heat

From a Broken Flask: Laminated Safety Glass
Article

Edouard Benedictus, a set and costume designer for a French theater, wanted to make glass safer. He was disturbed by reports of people being disfigured by broken windshield glass during automobile accidents. How could windshields be made less dangerous? He recalled a curious incident that had

On a Thread of Glass: Optical Fibers for Communication
Article

I have heard a ray of the sun laugh and cough and sing!    -Alexander Graham Bell It was a bright idea: use sunlight to transmit the human voice. In 1880, American innovator Alexander Graham Bell tried it, using a thin, flexible mirror to reflect a light beam onto a distant receiver. His voice

Getting the Whole Picture: Bundled Glass Fibers
Article

Glass rods could transmit light, but could they transmit an image? A professor at a French agricultural college found himself faced with that question in the 1890s while he was tinkering with an early version of television. Henri C. Saint-Rene needed to find a way to transmit an image onto his

With a Burst of Energy: Glass That Amplifies Light
Article

It was an idea that might have remained buried in scientific journals. Instead, it led to a device that gave modern telecommunications a much-needed boost. In the 1960s, Elias Snitzer, a physicist at American Optical, added rare earth elements to glass. These elements can absorb light energy—and,

A Break with Tradition: Fused Silica
Article

After you see something work, then you realize that it’s not so complicated after all.      – J. Franklin Hyde It’s exquisitely pure and remarkably transparent. It expands and contracts very little with changes in temperature. It is the simplest of all glasses, yet for years it was nearly

Lobmeyr's Persian and Arabian Enameled Glass Series
Article

The Viennese company of Joseph and Ludwig Lobmeyr—founded by their father, Joseph Sr in 1823 and in family hands ever since—became widely recognised for its high-quality glass wares from the mid-nineteenth century. 1 Large ‘crystal’ chandeliers, such as those that were manufactured in 1878 to 1881

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