A type of English drinking glass of the late 17th and 18th centuries, with the stem in the form of a baluster. (In architecture, a baluster is a short vertical support with a circular section and a vaselike outline.)
A variety of baluster glass with an elongated stem, current in England between about 1725 and 1760.
(German, “tapeworm glass”) A variety of Stangenglas decorated with a notched trail wound spirally, like a worm, around the wall. Glasses of this type were made in Germany between the 15th and 17th centuries.
A single piece of glass formed by fusing several canes or rods. A bar can be cut into numerous slices, all with the same design, to be used as inlays or appliqués, or in making mosaic glass.
(from Spanish) (1) A plant, Salsola soda, which grows extensively on seashores in the western Mediterranean and the Canary Islands; hence (2) an impure alkali made by burning plants of this and related species, formerly used in the manufacture of soap and glass.
A separate ring of glass added to the base after the body of the vessel has been formed.
The mixture of raw materials (often silica, soda or potash, and lime) that is melted in a pot or tank to make glass. Cullet, as well as minor ingredients such as colorants, can be added to the batch to help the melting process.
A glassworker’s tool in the form of a square wooden paddle with a handle. Battledores are used to smooth the bottoms of vessels and other objects.
The word used to describe the multifaceted wheel-engraved surface that resembles beaten metal.
A 19th-century American pressed glass jar in the form of a bear, probably for bear grease.
(1) The bench used by the gaffer while forming a glass object. Traditionally, this is a wide bench with arms, on which the gaffer rests the blowpipe with its parison of molten glass and rolls it backward and forward so that the parison retains its symmetrical shape during the forming process. (2) The team of glassworkers who assist a gaffer.
(German) A type of drinking glass, similar to a Römer, but with a funnel-shaped mouth. It was made in Germany and the Low Countries in the 16th and 17th centuries.
A large bowl with matching smaller bowls, used for serving fruit and other desserts.
A style of decorative art favored by the middle class in Germanic Europe between about 1815 and 1848. The name is derived from Gottlieb Biedermeier, the pseudonymous author of the satirical verses of Ludwig Eichrodt (1827-1892) and Adolf Kussmaul (1822-1902). During the period in which the Biedermeier style was popular, glassmaking revived in Bohemia, where new kinds of glass such as Lithyalin and elaborate flashed, wheel-engraved, and enameled glasses were produced for middle-class consumers.
A flameworked centerpiece or mantel ornament consisting of a tall fountain with two birds perched on the rim, and two or more shorter pedestals, each with a bird on the top. The birds have tails made of glass fibers. Bird fountains were made in England in the mid-19th century.
A mass of molten glass, usually small and freshly gathered from the furnace. In a team of glassworkers, the bit gatherer removes bits from the furnace, using a bit iron. Bits are also known as gobs.
A bottle for bitters, alcoholic beverages flavored with bitter herbs. Bitters, sold as medicine rather than as liquor (and for this reason, taxed more leniently), were immensely popular in America in the second half of the 19th century.
A popular term for bottles of iron-rich dark green or dark brown glass, the color of which protected the contents. “Black” glass was first made in England in the mid-17th century.
Any cooled glass object that requires further forming or decoration to be finished.
(German, “smooth cut”) A style of engraved decoration in which the relief effect is enhanced by polishing the ground part of the intaglio. Blankschnitt decoration is frequently found on glasses engraved in the German city of Nuremberg in the 17th and 18th centuries.
A small cup in which a partial vacuum is created for cupping. Cupping is the technique of drawing blood to the surface of the body, usually for bloodletting.
The technique of decorating hot glass by dropping onto the surface blobs of molten glass, usually of a different color or colors.
A tool made from a block of wood hollowed out to form a hemispherical recess. After it has been dipped in water to reduce charring and to create a “cushion” of steam, the block is used to form the gather into a sphere before it is inflated.
The technique of forming an object by inflating a gather or gob of molten glass on the end of a blowpipe. Traditionally and in modern furnace working, the gaffer blows through the tube, slightly inflating the gob, which is then manipulated into the required form by swinging it, rolling it on a marver, or shaping it with tools or in a mold. It is then inflated to the desired size. In flameworking, one end of the glass tube is heated and closed immediately, after which the worker blows into the other end and manipulates the hot glass.
Glassware made in America between about 1815 and 1835 that was blown in a fullsize mold that (despite the popular name) consisted of between two and five pieces.
An iron or steel tube, usually four to five feet long, for blowing glass. Blowpipes have a mouthpiece at one end and are usually fitted at the other end with a metal ring that helps to retain the gather.
Glass in which the flux is boric oxide instead of alkali. The first %%borosilicate glass%% was created by Otto Schott in 1882. It has a low coefficient of expansion and therefore withstands sudden changes of temperature.
A tool with two metal arms joined at one end by a spring. The distance between the arms is controlled by the glassworker, who uses jacks for a variety of purposes while shaping the parison (for example, to form the mouths of open vessels). This tool is also known as a borsella or pucellas.
A common, naturally colored, greenish or brownish glass. The color is characteristic of glass that includes traces of iron found in the silica used as the major ingredient. Such glass is inexpensive to produce, and it is used for such items as bottles, when good quality is not essential. Sometimes, additional iron, in the form of iron oxide (or other materials), is employed to darken the color.
A primitive lathe powered by the use of a bow. The bowstring is looped around the spindle of the lathe and causes it to rotate as the bow is drawn backward and forward.
(1) A rounded, hollow vessel; (2) the uppermost part of a goblet, tazza, or wineglass.
A sugar bowl and matching creamer.
Objects with elaborate, deeply cut patterns that usually cover the entire surface and are highly polished. In the United States, the vogue for brilliant-cut glass lasted from about 1880 to 1915.
Window glass made by inflating a large gather and swinging it until it forms a cylinder. The cylinder is then detached from the blowpipe, and both ends are removed with shears. Next, the cylinder (sometimes known as a muff) is cut lengthwise, reheated, and either tooled or allowed to slump until it assumes the form of a flat sheet. After annealing, the sheet is cut into panes.
Mold-blown decoration that has two sets of ribs. This is made by blowing the gather in a vertically ribbed dip mold, extracting and twisting it to produce a swirled effect, and then redipping it in the same or another dip mold to create a second set of ribs.
A pocket of gas trapped in glass during manufacture. The term is used both for bubbles introduced intentionally (known as air traps or beads) and for unwanted bubbles created during the melting process. Very small bubbles are known as seeds.
A glass pane with a pontil mark surrounded by concentric ridges. This was the central part of a large pane of crown glass.
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.
The part of a lamp where the flame is produced.
A mixture of alcohol and turpentine, used as lamp fuel in the 19th century. Burning fluid, which was dangerously explosive, was replaced by kerosene in the late 1850s.