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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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The Corning Ewer
Video

Listen as former curator David Whitehouse describes the Corning Ewer, an outstanding example of Islamic relief-cut cameo glass. A layer of transparent light green glass was applied to a layer of colorless glass. Most of the outer layer was then cut away, leaving the decoration in relief. Although

The Corning Ewer (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make the Corning Ewer, an outstanding example of Islamic relief-cut cameo glass. A layer of transparent light green glass was applied to a layer of colorless glass. Most of the outer layer was then cut away, leaving the

Lalique Snake Vase
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Snake Vase created by glass artist René Lalique. This vase in the form of a coiled snake, one of Lalique's iconic designs, expresses the energy and elegance of the Art Deco style. Lalique's first and very successful career was as a jeweler. In 1890

Flask with Mold
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Flask with Mold produced by Stebbins and Stebbins. The manufacture and decoration of hand-blown tableware was a slow and costly process. Glassmakers soon sought ways to speed production and to decorate their wares more inexpensively. One way to do

Tagliapietra Endeavor
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes Endeavor  by Italian artist Lino Tagliapietra. A sense of weightlessness characterizes this instillation of 18 boatlike forms. Inspired by the sight of the many gondolas that gather at the entrance of the Venetian lagoon on the feast day of the Ascension of

Ewer with Lion Mask
Video

Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this Venetian ewer, made with milk glass canes and decorated with applied lion-mask prunts (small ornaments that are like medallions stuck to the outside of a vessel). Differently patterned milk glass canes were and are used to make glass

Rummer with Raven Seal- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make this Ravenscroft goblet. In March 1674, the English glassmaker George Ravenscroft applied for a patent to make colorless lead glass. Unfortunately, this glass was prone to crizzling, a chemical instability that results in

Core Formed Vase- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique of making a core-formed vessel. The technique of core forming, which was introduced around the middle of the 16th century BC, was used to fashion some of the first glass vessels. Core forming involves the application of glass to a

King Amenhotep II
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes the glass portrait of King Amenhotep II. Ancient glass sculpture is very rare. This is one of the earliest known glass portraits. It probably shows the head of Amenhotep II, who was ruler of Egypt about 60 years before Tutankhamen. The craft of

Mosaic Glass Tabletop
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes this elaborate mosaic glass tabletop. The tabletop was submitted by the papal government to the Paris Exposition Universelle, in 1867. It consists of a large disk of white marble, inlaid in the pietra dura technique. The more than 2000 glass pieces

Trick Goblet
Video

Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this trick goblet, which holds a separate "straw" whose finial resembles the head a stag. To drink from it, one has to suck the liquid through the mouth of the stag while covering a hole in the stem of the vessel. Thus, this glass

De Santillana West Sky
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes West Sky  by artist Alessandro Diaz de Santillana. De Santillana uses color and form to interpret the four elements of the exterior world—air, earth, fire, and water—and the five senses of the interior world—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. His

Sasanian Cup
Video

Listen as former curator David Whitehouse describes this Sasanian cup. An example of Sasanian craftsmanship, this is a small bowl cut with relief bosses. It was probably made in Iran. The surfaces of the bosses are concave. The surrounding glass has been cut back to leave the bosses standing in

Marioni Chartreuse Pair
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes Chartreuse Pair  by American artist Dante Marioni.

Lišková Anthem of Joy in Glass (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used by Věra Lišková to create Anthem of Joy in Glass. Lišková was a talented designer who pioneered the use of borosilicate glass for sculpture. Traditionally, borosilicate glass is used for making laboratory wares for scientists,

Blue Aurene Vase
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Blue Aurene Vase, designed by Frederick Carder. Aurene glass was one of the earliest color effects created by Frederick Carder for Steuben Glass Works. It was first made as an iridescent gold-colored glass, but by 1904 Carder had developed blue

Reynolds Family Matter- Technique
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes the object Family Matter  by American artist Jill Reynolds.

Ancient Egyptian Furnace
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes an ancient Egyptian furnace. This is a full-scale model of a furnace that was used for making glass at Tell el-Amarna, Egypt, nearly 3,500 years ago. The model shows half of the furnace. The lower part was constructed in a pit, with only the dome above

Verzelini Goblet (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make the Verzelini goblet. Venetian glassmakers were hired in England during the 16th century. One of them was Giacomo Verzelini. In 1571, he was brought to London by Jean Carré, a French native and owner of the Crutched

Ancient & Islamic Glass
Video

The history of glass and glassmaking started more than 3,500 years ago. David Whitehouse introduces the ancient gallery, which illustrates the glass that was made in the ancient world and in the Islamic medieval period.

Core Formed Vase
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes the technique of core forming, which was introduced around the middle of the 16th century BC, and was used to fashion some of the first glass vessels. Core forming involves the application of glass to a removable core supported by a rod. There is no

The Morgan Cup
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes the Morgan cup. The rarest and most elaborate luxury vessels of the early Roman Empire are cameo glasses. These objects were inspired by relief-cut gems of banded semiprecious stones, such as onyx. Glassmakers cased (covered) objects of one color with

Bottle with Handles- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique of making a glass bottle with handles. Although glass vessels were never as cheap as earthenware, they had several advantages. They were easy to clean, they did not impart an odor to their contents, and they allowed one to see the

Bottle with Handles
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes a glass bottle with handles. Although glass vessels were never as cheap as earthenware, they had several advantages. They were easy to clean, they did not impart an odor to their contents, and they allowed one to see the contents even when the vessel was

Uncut Crown of Glass (Museum App)
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes an uncut crown of glass. Window glass was one of the most needed products in the new United States, but it was expensive to import. Some window glass factories were started in New Jersey, New York, and New England in the early 19th century. There

LaMonte Evening Dress
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes Evening Dress with Shawl  by American artist Karen LaMonte. Karen LaMonte's hauntingly beautiful female figures evoke the fragmented bodies of classical antiquity and the pristine statues of 19th-century American neoclassicism. By using translucent,

Tiffany Landscape Window
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Landscape Window designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. This window was commissioned for Rochroane, a Gothic Revival mansion in Irvington, New York, owned by Melchior S. Beltzhoover. It depicts the Hudson River landscape as seen from Rochroane's hilltop

Corning Cutting Shop- Family
Video

In the cutting room, a steam-powered shaft drove belts that turned the metal or stone cutting wheels. A glasscutter holds the object against the rotating wheel, which is fed with an abrasive slurry.

Fruit Basket
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Fruit Basket produced by Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. The process of pressing glass was perfected fairly quickly. By the 1840s, it was possible to press large objects without surface defects. This fruit basket illustrates the development of the

Tazza with Medici Arms (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used to make this glass object. This Tazza is enameled with the coat of arms of the Medici family combined with crossed keys and a papal tiara, suggesting that they were made for a member of the church, most probably either Pope Leo

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