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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Hyalith
Glass Dictionary Term

Two varieties of glass, opaque black and opaque red, developed by the Bohemian glassmaker Jirí von Buquoy (1781-1851) and patented in 1817 and 1819 respectively. Hyalith Beaker

Aryballos
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Greek) A small globular flask with two handles, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to contain toilet oil. Aryballos or Oil Flask

Alembic
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Arabic al-anbiq, “the still”) An apparatus used for distilling. Alembic

Masonic glass
Glass Dictionary Term

A glass object decorated with emblems or inscriptions associated with Freemasons. Masonic Decanter

Luster
Glass Dictionary Term

(1) A shiny metallic effect made by painting the surface with metallic oxides that have been dissolved in acid and mixed with an oily medium. Firing in oxygen- free conditions at a temperature of about 1150°F (600°C) causes the metal to deposit in a thin film that, after cleaning, has a distinctive

Lacy-pattern glass
Glass Dictionary Term

Nineteenth-century pressed glass whose patterns include extensive stippling to produce a bright, lacelike effect that conceals wrinkles caused when the cold plunger of the pressing machine came into contact with the hot glass. Tray

Arabesque
Glass Dictionary Term

(1) In Islamic art, an intricate pattern of interlaced ornament consisting of curvilinear stems and tendrils that terminate in leaves; (2) in Renaissance and later European art, a pattern of interlaced curvilinear stems, scrolls, and leaves, sometimes containing animal motifs. Vase

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

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