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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Bow lathe
Glass Dictionary Term

A primitive lathe powered by the use of a bow. The bowstring is looped around the spindle of the lathe and causes it to rotate as the bow is drawn backward and forward. bow lathes

Bowl
Glass Dictionary Term

(1) A rounded, hollow vessel; (2) the uppermost part of a goblet, tazza, or wineglass. bowls 2 Enameled Goblets

Breakfast set
Glass Dictionary Term

A sugar bowl and matching creamer. breakfast sets

Brilliant-cut glass
Glass Dictionary Term

Objects with elaborate, deeply cut patterns that usually cover the entire surface and are highly polished. In the United States, the vogue for brilliant-cut glass lasted from about 1880 to 1915. Vase in "Rookwood" Pattern

Bitters bottle
Glass Dictionary Term

A bottle for bitters, alcoholic beverages flavored with bitter herbs. Bitters, sold as medicine rather than as liquor (and for this reason, taxed more leniently), were immensely popular in America in the second half of the 19th century. bitters bottles Bitters bottle

Black bottle
Glass Dictionary Term

A popular term for bottles of iron-rich dark green or dark brown glass, the color of which protected the contents. “Black” glass was first made in England in the mid-17th century. black bottles Bottle

Blank
Glass Dictionary Term

Any cooled glass object that requires further forming or decoration to be finished. blanks Blank for Replica of the Portland Vase

Blankschnitt
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “smooth cut”) A style of engraved decoration in which the relief effect is enhanced by polishing the ground part of the intaglio. Blankschnitt decoration is frequently found on glasses engraved in the German city of Nuremberg in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Blobbing
Glass Dictionary Term

The technique of decorating hot glass by dropping onto the surface blobs of molten glass, usually of a different color or colors. Beaker or Lamp

Berkemeyer
Glass Dictionary Term

(German) A type of drinking glass, similar to a Römer, but with a funnel-shaped mouth. It was made in Germany and the Low Countries in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Berry set
Glass Dictionary Term

A large bowl with matching smaller bowls, used for serving fruit and other desserts. berry sets 6-piece Toy Berry Set

Biedermeier style
Glass Dictionary Term

A style of decorative art favored by the middle class in Germanic Europe between about 1815 and 1848. The name is derived from Gottlieb Biedermeier, the pseudonymous author of the satirical verses of Ludwig Eichrodt (1827-1892) and Adolf Kussmaul (1822-1902). During the period in which the

Bird fountain
Glass Dictionary Term

A flameworked centerpiece or mantel ornament consisting of a tall fountain with two birds perched on the rim, and two or more shorter pedestals, each with a bird on the top. The birds have tails made of glass fibers. Bird fountains were made in England in the mid-19th century. bird fountains

Bit
Glass Dictionary Term

A mass of molten glass, usually small and freshly gathered from the furnace. In a team of glassworkers, the bit gatherer removes bits from the furnace, using a bit iron. Bits are also known as gobs. bits gobs Gob

Avolio
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian) A small quantity of glass that joins the stem and the foot of goblets and similar forms. Wineglass

Baluster
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of English drinking glass of the late 17th and 18th centuries, with the stem in the form of a baluster. (In architecture, a baluster is a short vertical support with a circular section and a vaselike outline.) balusters Goblet with Royal Arms and Monogram of Queen Anne

Balustroid
Glass Dictionary Term

A variety of baluster glass with an elongated stem, current in England between about 1725 and 1760. balustroids Wineglass

Bandwurmglas
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “tapeworm glass”) A variety of Stangenglas decorated with a notched trail wound spirally, like a worm, around the wall. Glasses of this type were made in Germany between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Bar
Glass Dictionary Term

A single piece of glass formed by fusing several canes or rods. A bar can be cut into numerous slices, all with the same design, to be used as inlays or appliqués, or in making mosaic glass. bars Fragment of Bar in Feather Pattern

Barilla
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Spanish) (1) A plant, Salsola soda, which grows extensively on seashores in the western Mediterranean and the Canary Islands; hence (2) an impure alkali made by burning plants of this and related species, formerly used in the manufacture of soap and glass.

Batch
Glass Dictionary Term

The mixture of raw materials (often silica, soda or potash, and lime) that is melted in a pot or tank to make glass. Cullet, as well as minor ingredients such as colorants, can be added to the batch to help the melting process.

Battledore
Glass Dictionary Term

A glassworker’s tool in the form of a square wooden paddle with a handle. Battledores are used to smooth the bottoms of vessels and other objects.

Battuto
Glass Dictionary Term

The word used to describe the multifaceted wheel-engraved surface that resembles beaten metal. Martelé Ebony Asymmetrical

Bear jar
Glass Dictionary Term

A 19th-century American pressed glass jar in the form of a bear, probably for bear grease. bear jars Large Bear Grease Jar Pomade Jar with Lid

Art Nouveau
Glass Dictionary Term

(from French, “new art”) An international late 19th- and early 20th-century decorative style characterized by organic foliate forms, sinuous lines, and non-geometric, “whiplash” curves. Art Nouveau originated in Europe in the late 1880s, and reached the peak of its popularity around 1900. In

Aryballos
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Greek) A small globular flask with two handles, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to contain toilet oil. Oil Flasks (Aryballoi)

At-the-fire
Glass Dictionary Term

The process of reheating a blown glass object at the glory hole during manufacture, to permit further inflation, manipulation with tools, or fire polishing.

Aurene
Glass Dictionary Term

A type of ornamental glass with an iridescent surface made by spraying the glass with stannous chloride or lead chloride and reheating it under controlled atmospheric conditions. Aurene was developed by Frederick Carder (1863-1963) at Steuben Glass Works in Corning, New York, in 1904. Blue Aurene

Aventurine
Glass Dictionary Term

(from French aventure, “chance”) Translucent glass with sparkling inclusions of gold, copper, or chromic oxide, first made in Venice in the 15th century. Aventurine glass imitates the mineral of the same name, a variety of translucent quartz spangled with mica or other minerals. Cup

Amulet
Glass Dictionary Term

A charm believed to protect the wearer against evil or to bring good fortune. Amulet with Turtle

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