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 Glass Question at our Rakow Research Library.

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60 Years of Junior Curators
Video

The exhibition 60 Years of Junior Curators: Interpreting the Past, Speaking to the Future, organized by the students in the program, commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Junior Curator program — one of the longest running programs of its kind. The exhibition contains personal items, historical

Elizabeth Fortunato: Celebrity Cruises Glassmaking Scholarship Recipient
Video

Elizabeth Fortunato began studying glassblowing at the Pittsburgh Glass Center through a high school program. She continued working with glass through college, exploring kiln working at Kent State. In 2012, she was awarded a Celebrity Cruises Glassmaking Scholarship to take Erica Rosenfeld and Leo

Chihuly Fern Green Tower Time Lapse
Video

The glass is growing! Watch the reconfiguration of Dale Chihuly's Fern Green Tower in the Admissions Lobby of The Corning Museum of Glass. In March 2013, two members of Chihuly's team worked with the Museum's preparators to clean and recompose the artwork. Using new and larger metal

"Glass in Motion" 2011 GlassFest Highlight Montage
Video

Glass in Motion is a video highlight montage of the 2011 GlassFest in Corning, N.Y.

Paul Stankard's Demo at 2011 GlassFest
Video

Paul Stankard's demo at the 2011 GlassFest in Corning, N.Y.

Rakow Research Library Overview
Video

Explore the Rakow Research Library.

Reflections on Glass: Telescope Mirrors
Article

I contrived heretofore, a perspective by Reflexion.       —Sir Isaac Newton, c. 1668 The refracting telescope gave astronomers their first up-close glimpses of the heavens. Then, it began to frustrate them. At higher magnifications, the instrument’s glass lenses produced distorted images.

A Discovery Waiting to Happen: Glass-Ceramics
Article

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.

Birth of a New Industry: Fiberglass
Article

"If necessity is the mother of invention, then for the glass fiber industry, adversity is the father."     -William Boeschenstein, Owens-Corning Fiberglas, 1995 The world’s largest bottle plant stood empty. Prohibition and the Depression had crushed the demand for bottles. American bottle

Finding the Right Recipe: Borosilicate Glass
Article

Otto Schott, the pioneering German glass chemist, made a glass that could reliably do something that didn’t seem possible: endure sudden, uneven temperature shifts without shattering. The key, Schott discovered in 1882, was to have a critical amount of the element boron in the glass recipe. Schott

Williamite glass
Glass Dictionary Term

A late 17th- and 18th-century English drinking vessel engraved with a toast, a symbol (an orange tree, for example), or a motto supporting William of Orange (King William III, r. 1689-1702), or with his portrait. William III was a Protestant, and his political opponents were the Roman Catholic

Wine set
Glass Dictionary Term

A decanter with matching wineglasses, sometimes with a matching tray. wine sets wine-set Decanter set with 6 glasses

Winged goblet
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of goblet with the stem in the form of vertical, winglike flanges composed of trails arranged in a complex design that may include dragons, sea horses, and other creatures. The German term for a winged goblet is Flügelglas. winged goblets winged-goblet winged-goblets Flügelglas Winged Goblet

Witch ball
Glass Dictionary Term

A glass globe intended to be hung in a prominent place to ward off the evil eye. witch balls witches balls witches ball witch-ball Witch ball

Yard-of-ale
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of English ale glass with a trumpet-shaped mouth, a long and narrow neck, and a small globular body. These glasses were often one yard (three feet) long. They contained about one pint and functioned like trick glasses. The yard-of-ale came into use in the 1680s and continued into the 19th

Zanfirico
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian) A type of polychrome cane made by assembling a bundle of rods of different colors, and heating it until it is soft. The bundle is then attached to two pontils and elongated by drawing. At the same time, the bundle is twisted to produce a spiral pattern. Zanfirico, which is a synonym for

Zwischengoldglas
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “gold between glass”) A type of decoration, produced in Bohemia and Austria in the 18th century, in which a design in gold or silver leaf is incorporated between two vessels that fit together precisely. Unlike Hellenistic and Roman gold glass, which is fused, Zwischengoldglas is bonded

Agate glass
Glass Dictionary Term

Glass marbled with brown, blue, green, and yellow swirls in imitation of chalcedony and other banded semiprecious stones. Calcedonio Agate Vase with Cranes Flying Over the Sea

Air twist
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of decoration in the stems of 18th-century and later drinking glasses made by twisting columns of air.

Toots Zynsky
Article

When I hear music, it translates into color.—Toots Zynsky Toots Zynsky’s distinctive heat-formed  filet de verre  (glass thread) vessels enjoy a widespread popularity and deserved acclaim for their often extraordinary and always unique explorations in color. Defying categorization, her pieces

Vetro a fili
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian, “glass with threads”) A type of blown glass made with canes that form a pattern of parallel lines. vetro a filis vetro a file Wineglass

Vetro a reticello
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian, “glass with a small network”) A type of blown glass made with canes organized in a crisscross pattern to form a fine net, which may contain tiny air traps. vetro a reticelo Reticellos Reticelo Retichello Reticello Goblet

Vetro a retorti
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian, “glass with twists”) A type of blown glass made with canes that have been twisted to form spiral patterns. vetro a retortis retortolis retortole retortoles retortis retortie retorte Retortoli Retorti Footed Dish (vetro a retortoli)

Vetro di trina
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian, “lace glass”) A term loosely applied to various types of vetro a reticello. Vetro a reticello Dish (vetro a reticello)

Victory beaker
Glass Dictionary Term

A first-century A.D. Roman mold-blown drinking vessel inscribed in Greek with words meaning “Take the victory.” victory beakers victory-beaker victory-beakers Victory

Warzenbecher
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “wart beaker”) A heavy glass tumbler made of forest glass and decorated with prunts. It was produced in Germany in the 16th and 17th centuries. warzenbechers warzenbecker warzenbeckers Warzen becher Prunted Beaker

Waster
Glass Dictionary Term

A defective object discarded during manufacture. Wasters are routinely recycled as cullet. wasters

Water set
Glass Dictionary Term

A pitcher with matching tumblers, sometimes with a matching tray. water sets water-set 7-piece Toy Water Set

Weathering
Glass Dictionary Term

Changes on the surface of glass caused by chemical reaction with the environment. Weathering usually involves the leaching of alkali from the glass by water, leaving behind siliceous weathering products that are often laminar. whethering weathered Statuette of Venus

Wheel engraving
Glass Dictionary Term

A process of decorating the surface of glass by the grinding action of a wheel, using disks of various sizes and materials (usually copper, but sometimes stone), and an abrasive in a grease or slurry applied to a wheel, as the engraver holds the object against the underside of the rotating wheel.

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