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.

Pages

Roman Mold-Blown Glass
Video

Watch glassmakers recreate ancient Roman glass objects by mold-blowing. This video was filmed in 2014 at the Roman-style wood-fired furnace in Villa Borg, Germany, which was created especially for researching Roman glassworking techniques.

Tiffany Treasures (Podcast)
Audio

Learn more about Louis Comfort Tiffany and his work. In this podcast, Bill Gudenrath, the Museum's resident adviser to The Studio and a glass historian, interviews curator of American glass, Jane Shadel Spillman, and librarian at the Museum's Rakow Research Library, Diane Dolbashian. Both

McElheny Untitled (White)
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes the object "Untitled (White)" by American artist Josiah McElhany. Josiah McElheny is an accomplished glassblower who creates installations inspired by art or glass history, often using a specific historical or literary anecdote as a point of

Harvey K. Littleton and the American Studio Glass Movement
Article

Harvey Littleton is internationally acclaimed and recognized for his tireless work in founding and promoting the American Studio Glass movement. The movement was “born” in 1962, during two seminal glassblowing workshops at The Toledo Museum of Art. The workshops were led by Littleton, a Cranbrook

From a Broken Flask: Laminated Safety Glass
Article

Edouard Benedictus, a set and costume designer for a French theater, wanted to make glass safer. He was disturbed by reports of people being disfigured by broken windshield glass during automobile accidents. How could windshields be made less dangerous? He recalled a curious incident that had

A Conversation Between Liza Lou, Contemporary Sculptor and Installation Artist and Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass
Article

Tina Oldknow: I thought we would begin our conversation by discussing one sculpture in particular: Continuous Mile. How did the idea for this work come about? Liza Lou: Continuous Mile is a meditation on process. It’s a project that is spread across seven different townships in KwaZulu-Natal. The

The American Studio Glass Movement
Article

The Beginning of the Studio Movement During the 1950s, studio ceramics and other craft media in the U.S. began to gain in popularity and importance, and American artists interested in glass looked for new paths outside industry. The catalyst for the development of studio glass in the United States

The Long Road to Success: Fusion Draw Glass
Article

Both companies were chasing the same thing: the enormous market for flat glass. While Pilkington was working to develop flat glass, Corning Glass Works was developing a process of its own. Fusion draw produced a continuous sheet of exceptionally thin, pristine glass, but it was too slow to compete.

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 real glimpse of the heavens. Then, it began to frustrate them. At higher magnifications, the instrument’s glass lenses produced distorted images. Pioneering

Frederick Carder: A Biography for Young Audiences
Article

Frederick Carder was born in England on September 18, 1863. Fred, as people called him, was fascinated with his family’s pottery factory. At the age of 14, he insisted on quitting school so he could work there. His father was very unhappy about this, so he made Fred work from six in the morning

What is Glass?
Article

Glass is a rigid material formed by heating a mixture of dry materials to a viscous state, then cooling the ingredients fast enough to prevent a regular crystalline structure. As the glass cools, the atoms become locked in a disordered state like a liquid before they can form into the perfect %

Tools of the Glassmaker
Article

Pictured below are the basic tools used by glassblowers working "at the furnace" (as opposed to those working "at the lamp" — "flameworking" or "lampworking"). They are pretty much unchanged since the first century A.D. Incredibly, a Roman-period worker could

On a Thread of Glass: Optical Fibers for Communication
Article

I have heard a ray of the sun laugh and cough and sing!    -Alexander Graham Bell It was a bright idea: use sunlight to transmit the human voice. In 1880, American innovator Alexander Graham Bell tried it, using a thin, flexible mirror to reflect a light beam onto a distant receiver. His voice

Jobs in a 19th-Century Glass Factory
Article

In a typical glass factory in earlier times, most workers would work as unskilled laborers. An unskilled laborer was usually called "boy," a term which did not refer to the age of the individual. Although girls were known to perform other work, they often worked as inspectors and packers

Annealing Glass
Article

If a hot glass object is cooled "too quickly," it may be strained at room temperature, and therefore may break easily. For small, or thin-walled shapes (particularly those made of glasses having low expansions) the effect may not be serious. For more massive pieces, the strain can be very

Thérèse Lahaie: Rhythms in Glass
Article

Rarely does a visitor catch sight of Thérèse Lahaie’s Silver Gray Nocturne Triptych (2005.4.204) in the Museum’s Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family Contemporary Glass Gallery and not walk over or lean in to get a closer look. Something in, or behind, the panels of glass is rising and falling—soundlessly,

Chemistry of Glass
Article

Thousands of different chemical compositions can be made into glass. Different formulas affect the mechanical, electrical, chemical, optical, and thermal properties of the glasses that are produced. There is no single chemical composition that characterizes all glass. Typical glass contains formers

Simone Crestani Guest Artist Demonstration
Video

Watch as Simone Crestani demonstrates sculpting glass on a boro glass blowpipe on July 26, 2018 in the Amphitheater Hot Shop. Crestani is dedicated to research and innovation and has used his experience to break away from the traditional glassmaking of Murano. Crestani now works borosilicate glass

Robert Willson- Bringing Life to Solid Glass
Article

Anyone who has gazed into the clear depths of a paperweight knows how intoxicating solid glass can be. Glass in vessel form can be decorative, beautiful, even breathtaking, but one cannot escape the utilitarian. After all, it can hold our Cheerios. On the other hand, you would be lying to yourself

Hedwig Beakers
Article

Hedwig beakers form a small but famous group of vessels. They share several characteristics: the same form (they are beakers with a straight, tapering side), the same finishing techniques (they were decorated by cutting), and the same shallow faceting of the upper wall in order to display the

The Quest to See More: Glass Lenses
Article

Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins.    – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, 1862 A glass lens. It’s nothing more than a curved piece of glass. So simple. So familiar. It’s changed the way we perceive the world. In 1608, when Dutch spectacle maker Hans Lippershey held up two lenses, one

Eusheen Goines Live-streamed Studio Demonstration (July 11, 2018)
Video

Watch as Eusheen Goines demonstrates the skills needed to create hollow work such as marbles, pendants, and original functional sculpture. See the final piece starting at 1:10:57. Object photographs by Connor Mchugh (@pyroscopic). Goines is an internationally-recognized flameworker known for his

Simone Crestani Live-Streamed Studio Demonstration (July 18, 2018)
Video

Watch as Simone Crestani demonstrates hollow sculpting at the torch. See the final object starting at 1:00:00. An introspective and self-taught artist, Crestani has put together all of the lessons he’s learned and the experience he’s gained, to break away from the traditional glassmaking of Murano.

Michael Schunke & Josie Gluck Guest Artist Demonstration (July 19, 2018)
Video

Watch Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck collaborate to create a large wrapped glass bowl. See the final object out of the annealer starting at 1:29:14. The Guest Artist Series features world-class visiting artists at work in the Amphitheater Hot Shop. These special, extended demonstrations provide a

Optic Molding
Video

This technique was invented by Roman glassworkers. It was indispensable in glasshouses of the Middle Ages and flourished in Venice. Also known as dip molding, it remains popular today.

Blaschkas’ Glass Models of Invertebrate Animals (1863–1890)
Article

The story of the Blaschkas begins in the small town of Böhmisch Aicha (now Cˇesky´ Dub in the Czech Republic), where Leopold’s father continued the family tradition of flameworking. When Leopold was a student, his favorite  subjects were natural history and painting, and a visiting artist urged him

General catalogue No. G23: Pressed tableware, tumblers, stemware, cut glass, etc. / McKee Glass Co., Jeannette, Pa.
Library

McKee Glass Company, Jeannette, PA, USA. 28854 Pressed tableware, tumblers, stemware, cut glass, etc. Jeannette, Pa.: McKee Glass Co., [1923?] 92 p.: entirely ill.; 27 x 36 cm. Tableware: McKee Glass Company, Jeannette, PA, USA (F-13T) Trade catalog. Index in front. Also includes stationers'

Mobile Hot Shop
Video

The Mobile Hot Shop takes the Corning Museum of Glass live glassmaking experience on the road, bringing the artistry and education of glassmaking beyond the walls of the museum – to the public, the design community, and museums worldwide. The Corning Museum of Glass Mobile Hot Shop uses unique

Micke Johansson Guest Artist Demonstration
Video

Watch Guest Artist Micke Johansson demonstrate his unique style of glassworking in the Amphitheater Hot Shop during his demonstration on July 12, 2018. See the final piece out of the annealer at 1:53:40. Micke Johansson is a master glassblower and designer from Sweden. When he was 16 years old,

Guest Artist Demonstration: Bertil Vallien
Video

Renowned artist Bertil Vallien demonstrates the art of sandcasting in the Amphitheater Hot Shop using found pieces from The Studio. Vallien gave a lecture on the technique of sandcasting, a process that he is largely responsible for developing, at the Museum on April 20, 2015. Vallien is the most

Pages