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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Beth She'arim Slab
Video

Listen as former curator David Whitehouse describes the Beth She'arim slab. As in earlier times, Roman glassmaking and glassworking often took place in separate locations. Glassmakers melted raw materials to produce glass. Glassworkers formed the glass into finished objects. Finally, glass

Eckhardt's Archangel Uriel
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Archangel Uriel, created by artist Edris Eckhardt. During the 1950s, the studio crafts gained in popularity and importance in the United States. New techniques were developed by individual designer-craftsmen, who explored new uses for glass, ceramics, wood,

Musler Cityscape
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Cityscape, created by artist Jay Musler. He chose a spherical container blown of industrial Pyrex glass, which he cut in half. He then cut the rim of the hemisphere into a jagged edge, sandblasted it, and airbrushed it with oil paint. The sculpture's

Richard Wistar Bottle
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Richard Wistar bottle. The first successful glass factory in the Colonies was established by Caspar Wistar near Alloway, New Jersey, in 1739. Its principal products were window glass and bottles, which were in great demand. More than 15000

Libenský Red Pyramid
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes "Red Pyramid" by Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová pioneered, explored, developed, and defined glass as a medium for sculpture. Their art explores ideas about light, space,

Marquis Marquiscarpa
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes "Marquiscarpa" by American artist Richard Marquis. Unsatisfied with the limited techniques practiced and taught in American studio glass in the 1960s, studio glass pioneer Richard Marquis went to the Venini glassworks on Murano in 1969. There, he

Glass Window Blinds
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Glass Window Blinds designed by Elias Hungerford. Hungerford received a patent for these glass window blinds in 1866. They were designed, he said, "to give light which enters the room any desired tint to correspond with the color of wall paper

Lily-pad Pitcher
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Lily-pad Pitcher, produced by Lancaster Glass Works. The glass that was used to make this pitcher was also employed in the manufacture of windows because the brilliant, deep aquamarine color would not have been noticeable in thinly blown sheets

Mechanical Glass Theater
Video

Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this mechanical glass theater, which depicts the Wedding at Cana. Figurines in Venetian and Turkish costumes are seated in the loggia of a Rococo palace. The heads and limbs of each figure are lampworked in glass, and they can be moved by

Ruffner Shirts, Cherries, and Snowflakes, of Course
Video

Curator Tina Oldknow describes "Shirts, Cherries, and Snowflakes, of Course" by American artist Ginny Ruffner.

Verzelini Goblet
Video

Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this glass 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 Friars Glasshouse. Carré

Electric Cut Glass Lamp
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes this electric cut glass lamp. Six lamps in this style are known, and all of them are cut in the same pattern. The manufacturer has not been positively identified. One of these lamps was purchased in Chicago in the late 1930s or early 1940s, and

Jäavuori (Iceberg) Vase
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes this vase created by Tapio Wirkkala, one of Finland's best-known designers. He trained as a sculptor in Helsinki and he approached the decorative arts as a sculptor, but he also appreciated fine handcraft. He worked with a variety of materials,

Replica of Portland Vase
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes this replica of The Portland Vase, an ancient Roman cameo glass object that was taken to England from Italy in 1783. The fame of the Portland Vase and of Josiah Wedgwood's replicas, played a major role in the establishment of cameo glassmaking in

Reynolds Family Matter
Video

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

Fakes & Forgeries
Video

Listen as former curator David Whitehouse describes glass fakes and forgeries. A fake is a genuine object that has been altered or "improved," usually to enhance its value. A forgery is a copy or imitation of an object, made to deceive people (usually prospective owners) into believing

Lalique Snake Vase
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Snake Vase created by glass artist Rene Lalique. This vase in the form of a coiled snake, one of René 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

Toso Chess Set
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Chess Set, created by Italian glass artist Gianni Toso. In this whimsical, yet functional, chess set, a Jewish rabbi and a Roman Catholic bishop (the two kings) join a group of holy men and women holding Judeo-Christian symbols of faith, including crosses,

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

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

Hedwig Beaker
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes this object, a typical example of a puzzling group of glasses known as Hedwig beakers. They are unlike any other medieval objects of glass or rock crystal from the Islamic world, Byzantium, or western Christendom. These colorless or nearly colorless

Hoffmann Table Set
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Table Set created by glass artist Josef Hoffmann. Hoffmann studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Otto Wagner, whose theories of functional, modern buildings greatly influenced his work. He established his architectural practice in

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

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

Cage Cup
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes a Roman cage cup. Cage cups are the most exclusive luxury glasses made in the later Roman Empire. They date from about AD 250 to the mid-fourth century. Cutting and grinding a single thick-walled blank was a laborious and risky process. If just one mesh

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

Hilton Innerland
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Innerland, designed by glass artist Eric Hilton and executed at Steuben Glass, Inc. This piece is a multi-part sculpture that expresses designer Eric Hilton's concept of the unity of life and of the "inner being, or inner land, which is shared by

Lipofsky California Loop Series
Video

Learn more about "California Loop Series" by artist Marvin Lipofsky.

Ewer Signed by Ennion
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes an ewer signed by Ennion. The discovery that vessels could be formed and decorated by inflating a gob of glass in a mold permitted large numbers of virtually identical objects to be produced quickly and inexpensively. The first-century Roman writer Pliny

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