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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Ewer with Lion Mask (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique — cane work or filigrana — used to make this ewer. This Venetian ewer is 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

Gold Ruby Goblet
Video

Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this goblet made of gold ruby glass. Gold ruby glass is one of the most difficult colors to achieve in glass because it consists of gold that has been added to the solution of the glass, where it dissolves into small particles, so-called

Moorish Bathers
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Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes the Moorish Bathers, George Woodall's masterpiece. It was started about 1890 and completed in 1898. George and Thomas Woodall left school at about the age of 12 and became apprentices at the firm of J. & J. Northwood. They also attended evening

Karel Black Cube
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes Black Cube  by Czech artist Marian Karel. Marian Karel uses light, glass, and geometric forms to make illusionistic sculptures that challenge the viewer's perceptions of space. Black Cube is so dark and reflective that it is almost invisible; it

Cut Glass Table
Video

Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this cut glass table. Glass furniture was popular during the last half of the 18th century. In the 19th century, some furniture was made almost entirely of large pieces of glass. The Imperial Glassworks in St. Petersburg, Russia, created

St. Peter's Square
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes this micromosaic panel in a carved gilt wood frame. The panel shows a view of St. Peter's Square in Rome at the time of a Sunday benediction by Pope Leo XIII. The Pope can be seen in the background standing on the balcony blessing a large gathering

Blaschka Case- Family
Video

During their long careers, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka made many thousands of models of small animals and plants. They sold these all over the world, including to Harvard University.

Blaschka Case
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes this display, telling the story of two remarkable lampworkers, Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf, who created in glass thousands of models of invertebrates, animals without backbones, as well as flowers and plants. The father began the business of

Hilton Innerland (Technique- Museum App)
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Listen as glass artist Eric Hilton describes the techniques used to create Innerland. This piece is a multi-part sculpture that expresses Hilton's concept of the unity of life and of the "inner being, or inner land, which is shared by all people everywhere." The complex design and

Tom Scott at GlassLab Cooper-Hewitt, 2008
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Tom Scott at GlassLab at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, May 17-June 3, 2008. A program of The Corning Museum of Glass, GlassLab brings designers together with glassmakers to offer them rare access to experimenting with hot glass and prototyping their design concepts.

Desk Set
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Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes this desk set produced by Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. The problems involved in pressing glass were summarized by a glassmaker in 1849: "If an overplus of metal [glass] be gathered, it thickens the article throughout; but if too little, it

Blaschka Case (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes flameworking (or lampworking), the technique used by the Blaschkas to create the objects in this case at the Museum. The display tells the story of two remarkable lampworkers, Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf, who created in glass thousands of

The Corning Ewer- Family
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This is one of the finest pieces of cut glass in the entire museum! The eggshell-thin colorless glass was covered with a green overlay. After cooling, the green was partly carved away to create the decoration.

Gallé Dragonfly Coupe
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Dragonfly Coupe, created by French glass artist Emile Gallé. The love of nature, characteristic of the art nouveau style, is reflected in this remarkable coupe. A poet, designer, and a businessman, Gallé was well-versed in art, literature, botany, and

Glass of H.W. Stiegel
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes glass of H.W. Stiegel, produced by the American Flint Glass Manufactory of Henry William Stiegel. Stiegel opened a glasshouse in Manheim, Pa., in 1764. He was originally a manufacturer of window and bottle glass, but his main interest was fine lead

The Morgan Vase
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Morgan Vase. The Victorian sense of "good taste" emphasized ornate works. Some glassmakers met this demand by creating dramatic color effects. Several American factories produced Peachblow glass, which had a surface that shaded from

Tiffany Landscape Window- Family
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This window, decorated with hollyhocks, trumpet vines and wisteria, came from a mansion overlooking the Hudson River.

Francisco Costa at GlassLab Cooper-Hewitt, 2008
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Francisco Costa at GlassLab at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, May 17-June 3, 2008. A program of The Corning Museum of Glass, GlassLab brings designers together with glassmakers to offer them rare access to experimenting with hot glass and prototyping their design concepts.

Tim Dubitsky: GlassLab Design/Miami 2008
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Designer Tim Dubitsky talks about his experience working with GlassLab at Design/Miami 2008. A program of The Corning Museum of Glass, GlassLab brings designers together with glassmakers to offer them rare access to experimenting with hot glass and prototyping their design concepts.

Beth She'arim Slab
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Listen as former curator David Whitehouse describes the Beth She'arim slab. As in earlier times, Roman glassmaking and glassworking often took place in separate locations. Glassmakers melted raw materials to produce glass. Glassworkers formed the glass into finished objects. Finally, glass

Eckhardt's Archangel Uriel
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Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Archangel Uriel, created by artist Edris Eckhardt. During the 1950s, the studio crafts gained in popularity and importance in the United States. New techniques were developed by individual designer-craftsmen, who explored new uses for glass, ceramics, wood,

Mace/Kirkpatrick Large Fruits- Family
Video

Learn more about Still Life with Plum  by American artists Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick.

LaMonte Evening Dress- Family
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Learn more about Evening Dress with Shawl  by American artist Karen LaMonte. This five-part cast-glass sculpture is hollow, but suggests a body inside the dress.

Birth of a New Industry: Fiberglass
Article

"If necessity is the mother of invention, then for the glass fiber industry, adversity is the father."     — William Boeschenstein, Owens-Corning Fiberglas, 1995 The world’s largest bottle plant stood empty. Prohibition and the Depression had crushed the demand for bottles. American

A Discovery Waiting to Happen: Glass-Ceramics
Article

Why did such an important discovery occur so late in the … history of glass, and why was an accident necessary to bring it about?      – Donald Stookey, 1977 Crystals are usually a glassmaker’s enemy. When they form in glass, crystals can change the properties of the material in unwanted ways.

With a Burst of Energy: Glass That Amplifies Light
Article

It was an idea that might have remained buried in scientific journals. Instead, it led to a device that gave modern telecommunications a much-needed boost. In the 1960s, Elias Snitzer, a physicist at American Optical, added rare earth elements to glass. These elements can absorb light energy—and,

Finding the Right Recipe: Borosilicate Glass
Article

Otto Schott, the pioneering German glass chemist, made a glass that could reliably do something that didn’t seem possible: endure sudden, uneven temperature shifts without shattering. The key, Schott discovered in 1882, was to have a critical amount of the element boron in the glass recipe. Schott

Genie in the Bottle: Glass Bulbs & TV Tubes
Article

In 1879, the brilliant inventor Thomas Edison was on the verge of a breakthrough. He had discovered a slow-burning filament that would glow for hours in the vacuum of a glass globe. But to create the first practical electric light, he needed a glass globe that would not implode when the air was

The Fabulous Monster: Owens Bottle Machine
Article

The most significant advance in glass production in over 2,000 years...      — American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1983 Michael Owens, a self-taught American inventor, propelled the glass industry into the mechanical age. In 1903, he unveiled the world’s first completely automatic glass

One Step Closer: The Iron Glassblower
Article

A little more than 2,000 years ago, a Roman glassworker did something that dramatically changed the course of history. He blew a puff of air through a hollow rod into a gob of hot glass. The gob inflated into a bubble. At that moment, glassblowing was born. Glassblowing provided a way to make

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