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

Louis Comfort Tiffany Paperweights
Article

Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, was born in 1848. At the time of Tiffany’s birth his father owned one of the most prestigious jewelry and silver stores in America. Tiffany grew up around the decorative arts and decided to become a painter in 1866 rather than attend

The Mechanical Press
Article

Making and decorating a piece of glass took a lot of talent, training, and teamwork. In the 1820s, Americans developed a pressing machine that needed only two people with little experience to make it work. One person brought the hot glass from the furnace to the mold. The second cut off the right

Beth Lipman: Still Life in Glass
Article

Like Dutch still-life painters of the 16th and 17th centuries, American artist Beth Lipman sees images of food as a metaphor for desire, consumption, decadence and consequence. But unlike the European painters— who were primarily male, she points out—Lipman works with colorless glass, creating

Lobmeyr's Persian and Arabian Enameled Glass Series
Article

The Viennese company of Joseph and Ludwig Lobmeyr—founded by their father, Joseph Sr. in 1823 and in family hands ever since—became widely recognised for its high-quality glass wares from the mid-19th century. 1 Large ‘crystal’ chandeliers, such as those that were manufactured in 1878 to 1881 for

Masters of Studio Glass: Jiří Harcuba
Article

Heritage means to select the most valuable thing from history and hand it over to the next generation... Prehistorical rock engravings are closer to our contemporary artistic views than classical art. Other manifestations of the primary art of Australia, Africa, and Oceania as well as folk art

A Brief History of Islamic Glassmaking
Article

The prophet Muhammad proclaimed the new religion of Islam in 622. Following his death 10 years later, Arab armies conquered much of what is now Egypt, the Near East, and Iran. Here the Muslims found flourishing glass industries, which continued to produce large quantities of objects for daily use.

The Righteous Shall Receive a Crown of Glory
Article

A spectacular and large Tiffany stained glass memorial window has been installed in the Museum’s modern glass gallery. It is the first time that this window has been on view at the Museum since its donation in 1996. Titled The Righteous Shall Receive a Crown of Glory, the window was designed by

An Unusual Fragment of Cameo Glass
Article

The subject of this note is a fragment of cameo glass [59.1.509] (Figs. 1 and 2), now in The Corning Museum of Glass, that was formerly in the collection of Ray Winfield Smith. 1 It was shown in the 1957 exhibition Glass from the Ancient World as part of a group of early Islamic cameo glass, which

“Carder” Design Reassigned
Article

In 1959, The Corning Museum of Glass received a large group of objects as a gift from Frederick Carder, the retired director of the Steuben Glass Works. Most of these had been made at Steuben in Corning, New York, but some were English. Most of the English pieces came from Stevens & Williams of

Types of Glass
Article

Nearly all commercial glasses fall into one of six basic categories or types. These categories are based on chemical composition. Within each type, except for fused silica, there are numerous distinct compositions. Soda-lime glass is the most common (90% of glass made), and least expensive form of

Glass of the Romans
Article

Until about 50 B.C. glass objects could only be made slowly due to the limited techniques available. One bottle could take several days to make via casting or cutting techniques. Core-formed objects may have taken 45 minutes to create. Glass furnace technology was such that only small amounts of

20th Century Lighting
Article

Lighting, which includes lamps, chandeliers, and other forms of architectural lighting, is a diverse category of glassmaking that often combines utility with art. The Museum’s collection ranges from fragile ancient Roman oil-burning lamps to majestic 19th-century English chandeliers made for Indian

Weathered Archaeological Glass
Article

Glass is found at archaeological excavations in a variety of conditions. The glass condition can range from pristine, where no deterioration is visible, to so heavily degraded that practically all the glass has been transformed into corrosion products. The deterioration of the glass surface is

Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus), Historia naturalis, about A.D. 77
Article

First printed edition published by Johannes de Spira, Venice, 1469 A chief idea in ancient thought and in Renaissance Humanism was the centrality of the individual in the world. Accordingly, the natural world was considered to be less a manifestation of a divine creator and more a stage for the

Solarized Glass
Article

Certain types of colorless, transparent glasses, when exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time, develop a pink or pale purplish color. Bottles, insulators, and other objects having their color changed in this way are often called "desert glass," but the scientist prefers the term

Antonio Neri: Alchemist, Glassmaker, Priest
Article

One of the most interesting figures in the history of glass lived four hundred years ago in Florence, Italy. He was an alchemist, a glassmaker and a Catholic priest. His name was Antonio Neri and he worked for a prince from the Medici royal family. 1  Neri is famously known as the author of the

Making Ideas: Experiments in Design at GlassLab
Article

Making Ideas: Experiments in Design at GlassLab showcases the Museum’s signature design program, GlassLab, in which designers are invited to work with hot glass. The exhibition features over 150 design prototypes by nearly 50 international designers. Over the last decade, the field of design has

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

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

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

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,

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

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

Does Glass Flow?
Article

(No, It Doesn't Flow—read on for details) Early one spring morning in 1946, Clarence Hoke was holding forth in his chemistry class at West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey. "Glass is actually a liquid." the North Carolina native told us in his soft Southern tones. "You can

Glass in Nature
Article

Although most people think of glass as a man-made material, it is found in many forms in the natural world. A range of glasses are found in—and formed by—nature. Volcanoes spew molten rock, lightning strikes desert and beach sands, meteorites pound the earth, and sea sponges and microscopic

Dale Chihuly: A Selective Biography
Article

Dale Chihuly, who was born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1941, has become an internationally celebrated personality in contemporary art and design whose prominence in the field of contemporary studio glass is unmatched. He is a generous and charismatic individual with a forceful personality, who

Pages