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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Manny Quinnones clip, 2010: Rakow Research Library Conversation Series
Video

This conversation is with Manny Quinnones, a glassmaker at Vitrix Hot Glass Studio in Corning, N.Y. Quinnones talks about visiting the studio on a fieldtrip in the seventh grade, and how that trip influenced his future career as a glass artist. Filmed May 2010. The Rakow Research Library’s

Al Donnelly Clip, 2014: Rakow Library Library Conversations Series
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This conversation is with Al Donnelly, former supervisor of consumer information for the Consumer Products division at Corning Incorporated. Donnelly recounts a story about researchers at the company purchasing female goats to study the use of enzymes with glass. Filmed May 23, 2014. The Rakow

Behind the Glass | New Dawn in Parliament
Video

Hear artist Mary Branson discuss the artistic commission she created for the Houses of Parliament in London, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the petition calling for women’s suffrage in England, in this Behind the Glass lecture. After her appointment as Parliament’s artist-in-residence in 2014

Behind the Glass | New Discoveries in Early Nigerian Glassmaking
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Newly discovered glass beads, crucible fragments, and raw glass from Ile-Ife, Nigeria, provide evidence for a massive workshop making glass beads for West Africans one thousand years ago. Previously, glass beads in Africa were thought to be made from glass imported from Europe, but Dr. Abidemi

Anna Mlasowsky | Behind the Glass
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Anna Mlasowsky focuses her curiosity on studying the traditions and habits of glassmaking. “The way we evaluate a material and use its properties is defined by preconceived opinions and boundaries set by traditions,” said Mlasowsky. Her work seeks to challenge pre-formed behaviors and raise

Garble Nar Blar by Reed | You Design It; We Make It
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This You Design It; We Make It! comes from Reed, age 13. Watch as gaffer Heather Spiewak brings Garble Nar Blar the alien dog to life. See Garble Nar Blar out of the annealer starting at 1:26:10. See a photo of the drawing and the final piece on Facebook. Visit The Corning Museum of Glass to try

Caleb's Whale with Balloons | You Design It; We Make It
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This You Design It; We Make It! comes from Caleb, age 11. He says, "It's a whale flying with balloons living his dreams." Watch as gaffer Aaron Jack brings Caleb's design to life. Visit Facebook to see Caleb's drawing with the final piece. Visit The Corning Museum of Glass

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

Raw Materials of Glass
Video

See and understand the magical process of making glass from simple materials, by using great heat. Until the most recent times, glassmaking was a closely guarded secret passed on within workshops or even families from one generation to the next, often over hundreds of years.

Toso Chess Set
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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,

2300° with Davide Salvadore and Afrobeta
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"I tried to work wood, be a bartender... but in the end, I came back to the furnace. Every time," says Guest Artist Davide Salvadore who took over the Amphitheater Hot Shop for this 2300° demo. Music by Afrobeta. This duo with a cool, underground sound has what has been described as "

2300° with Pauline Deltour and The Jeff Love Band
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Guest Artist Pauline Deltour on her first experience working with glass: "I definitely want to do more things with glass. It's very alive, very unperfect, but that's what makes the beauty of it." Hear more from Deltour and music from The Jeff Love Band at December 2016's

Toots Zynsky | Behind the Glass Lecture
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Toots Zynsky is known for her distinctive filet de verre (glass thread) vessels, which are unique explorations of color and form. Their exceptional designs are achieved through an interweaving of painting and sculpture. In her lecture, Zynsky shares her creative process and sources for inspiration,

The Story of Rudolf and Leopold Blaschka
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The Botanical Wonders exhibition celebrated the singular triumph of glassmakers Leopold Blaschka (1822-1895) and his son Rudolf (1857-1939) and offered close-ups of the people and the craft process behind the glass flowers. Video narrated by David Whitehouse.

Christa Westbrook Guest Artist Demonstration
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Watch Christa Westbrook create a large colorful vessel in this Guest Artist demo. See the final piece starting at 1:27:55. The Guest Artist Series features world-class visiting artists at work in the Amphitheater Hot Shop. These special, extended demonstrations provide a fascinating peek at the

Bandhu Dunham Live-Streamed Studio Demonstration
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Watch as Bandhu Dunham demonstrates techniques for creating kinetic glass sculptures that utilize natural forces such as gravity, heat, and pressure to animate whimsical moving machines. See the final pieces starting at 1:04:41. Bandhu Dunham is the author of the definitive glass text, Contemporary

Michael Schunke & Josie Gluck Live-Streamed Studio Demonstration (July 25, 2018)
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Watch as Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck demonstrate goblet-making along with color chemistry and melting practice. See the final object starting at 1:01:32. Take a look into a class at The Studio and watch as internationally renowned faculty demonstrate for their classes ranging from furnace

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

Prince Rupert's Drop
Video

Don't try this at home! A classic demonstration involving exploding glass: it spectacularly shows both the great strength and vulnerability of glass that has been rapidly cooled from the molten state.

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

Red/Amber Sliced Descending Form (557)
Audio

557 Harvey K. Littleton (American, b. 1922) United States, Spruce Pine, North Carolina 1984 Cased and hot-worked glass, cut H: 37.2 cm, W: 44 cm, D: 11.3 cm (2007.4.168) Harvey Littleton, who founded the American Studio Glass movement with the glass research scientist Dominick Labino, was born and

Tiffany Treasures (Podcast)
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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

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

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