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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Pilgrim flask
Glass Dictionary Term

A flat flask with a ring on each side of the neck for the insertion of cords by which it can be suspended. pilgrim flasks Pilgrim Flask

Pillar-molded glass
Glass Dictionary Term

A term used by 19th-century English glassmakers to describe vessels with mold-blown vertical ribs but no corresponding indentations on the interior. This effect was achieved by partly inflating the gather, allowing it to cool sufficiently to become somewhat rigid, and then gathering an outer layer

Parison
Glass Dictionary Term

(from French paraison) A gather, on the end of a blowpipe, that is already partly inflated. parisons

Passglas
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “pass glass”) A tall cylindrical drinking vessel with trailed or enameled horizontal marks. The drinker was supposed to gulp only enough to reach the next horizontal mark, and then pass the glass to the next person. If he drank too much, he was required to reach the next mark, and so on.

Paste
Glass Dictionary Term

These terms and their French and Italian equivalents, pâte de verre and pasta vitrea, have been used since at least the 17th century to describe the composition of small objects such as medallions and imitations of precious stones. However, their use to describe such objects is incorrect (they were

Pâte de verre
Glass Dictionary Term

(French, “glass paste”) A material produced by grinding glass into a fine powder, adding a binder to create a paste, and adding a fluxing medium to facilitate melting. The paste is brushed or tamped into a mold, dried, and fused by firing. After annealing, the object is removed from the mold and

Patella cup
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Latin patella, “small dish; kneecap”) A first-century A.D. Roman drinking cup with a doubleconvex profile and a foot-ring. patella cups Large Patella Cup

Palm column flask
Glass Dictionary Term

A tall, narrow cylindrical vessel decorated at the top with stylized palm fronds. Flasks of this type were made by core forming in Egypt in the 18th and 19th Dynasties (about 1400-1250 B.C.). They were used as kohl tubes. palm column flasks palm-column flask palm-column flasks Flask Shaped like a

Palm cup
Glass Dictionary Term

A shallow drinking vessel with a round base that fits in the palm of the hand. palm cups Palm Cup

Pane
Glass Dictionary Term

A piece of flat sheet glass used for glazing windows. panes pane-glass pane glass Crown glass Cylinder glass

Paperweight
Glass Dictionary Term

A small, heavy object designed to hold down loose papers. The first glass paperweights were made in the early 1840s in Venice and France, and their manufacture spread rapidly to other parts of Europe and the United States. Glass paperweights ceased to be fashionable in the early 20th century, but

Parcioffi
Glass Dictionary Term

(Italian) Jacks with blades made of wood. Parcioffis Parchioffi

Opus sectile
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Latin, “cut work”) Decoration on a wall or floor, made by fitting together flat elements of different shapes and colors. The ancient Romans sometimes used glass to make opus sectile ornament. Opus sectiles Opus-sectile Opus-sectiles Opus Sectile

Ormolu
Glass Dictionary Term

(from French, “ground gold”) An alloy with a copper base, used for decoration. Some glass objects have ormolu mounts. ormalou ormalo Ormolu and Blue Opaline Clock

Overblow
Glass Dictionary Term

A by-product of mold blowing, this is the portion of the parison that remains outside the mold. The overblow, or moil, is usually removed by cracking off. over-blow overblows over-blows Moil

Overlay
Glass Dictionary Term

A layer of glass that covers a layer of a different color, often as the result of casing or flashing. overlays over-lay over-lays overlaying over-laying Red/Amber Sliced Descending Form

Pallet
Glass Dictionary Term

A glassworker’s tool consisting of a square piece of wood or metal and a handle. It is used to flatten the bases of vessels. pallets

Omphalos bowl
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Greek omphalos, “navel”) A bowl with a hollow, raised boss (the “navel”) at the center. Omphalos bowls omphalo bowl omphalo bowls Shallow Bowl (Phiale)

Opal glass
Glass Dictionary Term

Glass that resembles an opal, being translucent and white, with a grayish or bluish tinge. opal glasses opal-glass Opal Glass Beaker

Opalescent glass
Glass Dictionary Term

(1) A type of late 19th-century Art Glass, made by covering a gather of colored glass with a layer of colorless glass containing bone ash and arsenic or the mineral cryolite from Greenland. The parison was inflated in a mold to produce raised decoration. When the parison was reheated, the raised

Openwork
Glass Dictionary Term

Work that is perforated. Openwork in glass objects can be made by creating a network of trails, by casting (see Diatreta), or by cutting (see Cage cup). open-work openworks Grand Double Helix Diatreta

Optical glass
Glass Dictionary Term

Glass of extreme purity and with welldefined optical properties, which was originally created for making lenses and prisms. optical glasses Astrolabe

Nipt-diamond-waies
Glass Dictionary Term

The technique of manipulating adjacent vertical ribs with pincers to form a diamond pattern. “Nipt-diamond-waies” was the term used by the English glassmaker George Ravenscroft (1632-1683) in a 1677 advertisement for his new lead glass. nipt diamond waies nipt diamond waie nipt-diamond-waie Rummer

Nuppenbecher
Glass Dictionary Term

(German, “drop beaker”) A beaker decorated with large, droplike prunts, which may be drawn out into pointed projections. nuppenbechers nupenbecher nupenbechers Nuppenbecher or Krautstrunk (prunted beaker)

Obsidian
Glass Dictionary Term

A volcanic mineral that was the first form of natural glass used by humans. It is usually black, but it can also be very dark red or green; its splinters are often transparent or translucent. obsidians

Oenochoe
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Greek, “wine pourer”) A pitcher with a trefoil mouth, used in ancient Greece to transfer wine from the mixing bowl to the cup. Between the sixth and third centuries B.C., miniature core-formed oenochoes were used as perfume bottles. Oenochoes Pitcher with Trefoil Mouth

Omom
Glass Dictionary Term

(perhaps from Arabic qumqum, “sprinkler”) A sprinkler with a tall, narrow neck and an oblate spheroid body. Omoms were used in the Islamic world for sprinkling perfume. omoms omam omams

Nef
Glass Dictionary Term

(from Old French nef, “ship”) A table ornament in the form of a ship, with the hull formed by blowing and the rigging consisting of trails. Sometimes, there is a spout in the hull. nefs Nef in the form of a Boat

Neoclassical
Glass Dictionary Term

A style of art, architecture, literature, music, etc., that is based on, or influenced by, classical styles, especially the styles of ancient Greece and Rome. neo-classical neoclasical Venus and Cupid

Neon
Glass Dictionary Term

Neon is an inert gas that, like some other gases, has the properties of high electrical conductivity and strong light-emissive power. Such gases can be introduced into evacuated glass tubes. Under these conditions, an electrical discharge causes the gas to emit light. Different gases emit different

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