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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Lišková Anthem of Joy in Glass (Family App)
Video

Anthem of Joy was created by the Czech designer Věra Liškova. It was made by softening, inflating, and manipulating tubes of borosilicate glass (like Pyrex) over a torch. The individual parts were assembled by fusing. Gift of Art Centrum.

Wedding Baskets- Family
Video

These three baskets were made to contain wedding gifts and are an example of an early form of recycling, as they were returned to their owners to be used again and again at other weddings.

Libenský Red Pyramid- Family
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Red Pyramid by Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Libenský and Brychtová, a husband and wife team, collaborated for more than 40 years. These artists pioneered the technique of mold-melting, where chunks of glass are placed in molds,

St. Peter's Square- Family
Video

Examine the small mosaic in its gilded frame. From a distance, it looks like an oil painting. In fact, it's made of thousands of glass tiles, some no larger than the head of a pin.

Glass Harmonica (Family App)
Video

Benjamin Franklin invented this strange musical instrument. It was popular in the late 18th century. Sounds were made by running moistened fingers along the rims of the glasses. Some people were afraid that this strange music would drive them crazy.

Glass Table and Boat- Family
Video

Glass furniture like this table was very popular in India. European glassmakers maintained showrooms that were filled with chandeliers, tables, and chairs for sale to kings and princes.

Cage Cup- Family
Video

Cage cups were made by Roman glasscutters in the fourth century AD. The entire vessel was cut from a thick-walled glass hemisphere. The metal attachments show that the object was a hanging lamp. Imagine the shadows the "cage" would have cast as the lamplight flickered.

Cage Cup Technique- Family
Video

Cage cups were made by Roman glasscutters in the fourth century AD. The entire vessel was cut from a thick-walled glass hemisphere. The metal attachments show that the object was a hanging lamp. Imagine the shadows the "cage" would have cast as the lamplight flickered.

Hedwig Beaker (Family App)
Video

This is a medieval mystery. No one is certain where or when this cut glass beaker was made. It is named for St. Hedwig of Silesia (modern Poland). Fewer than 20 of these beakers are known to exist.

Punch Bowl- Family
Video

Between 1880 and 1915, more cut glass was made in Corning, New York, than anywhere else in the country. This punch bowl was made here by local glasscutters.

Mechanical Glass Theater (Family App)
Video

This miniature theater shows the Wedding at Cana. Look closely and you can see that it is made of shells, rock crystal, fabric, and pieces of glass. Some of the figures are attached to levers that allowed them to be moved.

Cylinder of Window Glass (Family App)
Video

One traditional way of making flat window glass was to start with a large cylinder like this one, cut off the ends, cut it lengthwise, and heat it in a kiln until it flattened. Gift of JE Springer.

Paperweights- Family
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Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes the stages of making a paperweight.

Blaschka Case- Family
Video

During their long careers, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka made many thousands of models of small animals and plants. They sold these all over the world, including to Harvard University.

The Corning Ewer- Family
Video

This is one of the finest pieces of cut glass in the entire museum! The eggshell-thin colorless glass was covered with a green overlay. After cooling, the green was partly carved away to create the decoration.

Tiffany Landscape Window- Family
Video

This window, decorated with hollyhocks, trumpet vines and wisteria, came from a mansion overlooking the Hudson River.

Mace/Kirkpatrick Large Fruits- Family
Video

Learn more about "Still Life with Plum" by American artists Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick.

LaMonte Evening Dress- Family
Video

Learn more about "Evening Dress with Shawl" by American artist Karen LaMonte. This five-part cast-glass sculpture is hollow, but suggests a body inside the dress.

Side Arm Press (Family App)
Video

The mass production of glass began in the 1820s, when the side-arm press was introduced. Using a press and a mold, two men could make about 100 glasses in an hour. Gift of Debra Ortello in loving memory of her husband, Vincent Ortello.

Trick Goblet (Family App)
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When you try to fill this glass with liquid, some of the tubes and bulbs remain empty. If you try to drink from the glass, the air in the tubes makes the liquid gush out when you least expect it.

Hilton Innerland (Family App)
Video

Scottish artist Eric Hilton designed Innerland and master engravers at Steuben Glass translated Hilton's dream into tangible form. Wherever you look, you will find a different inner land.

Musler Cityscape (Family App)
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Artist Jay Musler took a hemisphere of industrially produced Pyrex, cut the rim in the form of an urban skyline (think of the skyscrapers of Manhattan), sandblasted it, and airbrushed it with oil paint.

Chihuly Fern Green Tower- Family
Video

Listen as curators Tina Oldknow and David Whitehouse describe Fern Green Tower by American artist Dale Chihuly. Northwest native Chihuly calls glass "the most magical of materials." He is probably the best-known artist working in blown glass today, and his sculptures and chandeliers are

Toso Chess Set- Family Technique
Video

The pieces in Gianni Toso's Chess Set, made in about 1981, are in the form of Jewish and Roman Catholic worshippers. The kings are a rabbi and a bishop. The tiny details of the figures were made by softening glass in a flame and molding it into the desired shapes.

Libenský Installation- Family Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used to create Meteor, Flower, Bird by Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Libenský and Brychtová convey three messages with this sculpture: Meteor, on the left, represents Corning as an international center for

Contemporary Chairs- Family
Video

Some of this furniture was designed to be used, while other pieces are purely decorative. Ghost Chair, on the left, is sturdy enough for use; likewise, Danny Lane's Etruscan Chair on the far right was also designed for sitting.

Steuben Cascade Wall- Family
Video

Cascade Wall was designed by George Thompson and made in Corning by Steuben Glass for its New York City showroom. When it was installed in the showroom in 1959, it had a reflecting pool at the bottom. Gift of Steuben Glass, Inc.

Tagliapietra Endeavor- Family Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques Italian artist Lino Tagliapietra, one of the greatest living glass artists, used to create Endeavor. These 18 boats evoke the gondolas of Tagliapietra's native Venice. Each boat was blown and then cold worked to create the

Quagliata Melancholia- Family
Video

This image of a man sitting in an airplane and gazing out of the window evokes feelings of sadness and loss. Who or what did he leave behind? What does the future hold at his destination?

Light Bulb Tester (Family App)
Video

The single light bulb is a replica of the first light bulb blown in Corning, NY, for inventor Thomas Alva Edison. The large object is a light bulb tester. Before purchasing light bulbs in a store, you would use the tester to see if your light bulb worked. 

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