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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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

Darin Denison Guest Artist Demonstration
Video

Watch Seattle-based glass powerhouse Darin Denison demo in the Amphitheater Hot Shop on August 30, 2018. See the final piece out of the anneler at 1:54:46. Originally from New York, Darin Denison has called Seattle home for 22 years. For the last 19 years, he has been blowing glass with many

English Folding Screen- Family
Video

This screen, made in London, England, is decorated with birds, frogs, and fish—even a spider and a butterfly. Sixteen birds are shown; 13 are easy to spot, but three are more difficult. How many can you find? Clara S. Peck Endowment.

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.

Richard Wistar Bottle- Family
Video

The first successful glassmaker in America was Caspar Wistar who began a factory in New Jersey. Before his factory, all glass was imported from England and Europe. This bottle is one of three that are known to come from his factory.

Whimsies- Family
Video

Whimsies are what modern collectors call pieces that were made by individual glassmakers for fun or for show. Glassmakers would make these after their regular work shifts.

Catherine Labonté Guest Artist Demonstration
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Watch as Catherine Labonté unveils her new, never-before-seen glass animal — a rabbit — during this Guest Artist demonstration in the Amphitheater Hot Shop on September 1, 2018. See the final object out of the annealer starting at 1:59:10. The Guest Artist Series features world-class visiting

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

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

Lalique Snake Vase
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Snake Vase created by glass artist René Lalique. This vase in the form of a coiled snake, one of 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 1890

Bertil Vallien, Unknown Destination II- Family
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Unknown Destination II by Swedish artist Bertil Vallien. Vallien created a series of boats that remind us of journeys. He filled the boats with objects that reference the past and time.

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

Tagliapietra Endeavor- Family
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Endeavor by Italian artist Lino Tagliapietra, one of the greatest living glass artists. These 18 boats evoke the gondolas of his native Venice. Each boat was blown and then cold worked to create the different surface textures.

Bedside Lamp (Family App)
Video

These bedside lamps, made in New England in the 1820s or 1830s, burned whale oil. This was readily available and it gave a good light. Whale oil remained popular until about 1860, when kerosene became available. Gift of Preston Bassett.

The 2018 GlassBarge Tour
Video

If you came to see  GlassBarge  this summer, you were a part of history. Over the past four months, the  GlassBarge  journey brought glassmaking to all corners of New York State. From Brooklyn to Buffalo, we celebrated the Erie Canal and New York's waterways. Take a look back at the best

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 Ascension of

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

Gallé Dragonfly Coupe- Family
Video

Emile Gallé was an artist, a poet, and a horticulturalist. He designed remarkable glass, ceramics, and furniture. The huge dragonfly that adorns this chalice-like coupe reflects Gallé's profound love of nature. Gift in part of Benedict Silverman, in memory of Gerry Lou Silverman.

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

Reynolds Family Matter- Family
Video

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

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

American Glass- Family
Video

This display of glass produced in America in the 18th and 19th centuries includes useful objects made in the 1700s, fancy art glass of the late 19th century, and glass for windows, lighting devices, and storage jars.

Ruffner Shirts, Cherries, and Snowflakes, of Course- Family
Video

Learn more about Shirts, Cherries, and Snowflakes, of Course  by American artist Ginny Ruffner.

Marioni Chartreuse Pair- Family
Video

This particular type of pitcher is modeled after an ancient civilization in Italy called the Etruscans. It's called a becco di oca, which means "goose beak" in Italian.

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