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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Magnificent House Altar from 1500s Restored
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On August 2, 2007, a beautiful, fully restored 16th-century German house altar (59.3.39) was put on display for the first time since its acquisition by The Corning Museum of Glass in 1959. The altar is 49.6 cm tall, and contains seven reverse-painted glass panels. These depict scenes of the

Founders of American Studio Glass: Dominick Labino
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At the time that [studio glassworking] began, not one of us involved was aware of the speed with which it would spread. Not only nationally, but internationally. — Dominick Labino, undated manuscript Dominick Labino’s contributions to 20th-century glassmaking were wide-ranging and innovative.

Scientific Investigations of Some Glasses from Sedeinga
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In 1973, Prof. Jean Leclant described the glass excavated at Sedeinga, a meroitic site in Sudan. 1 Among the objects are two extremely important footed flutes bearing elaborate "painted, and gilded polychrome decorations. Professor Leclant dated the tombs in which the glasses were uncovered to

Frederick Carder’s Journal of His 1902 Visit to Germany, Bohemia, and Austria
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In 2005, the Rakow Research Library of The Corning Museum of Glass received a small spiral-bound notebook containing Frederick Carder’s handwritten notes from his three-week trip in 1902 to glasshouses in Germany, Bohemia, and Austria. 1 Carder, a designer at Stevens & Williams in Brierley Hill

Analyses of Some Finds from the Gnalić Wreck
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Fragments of eight types of objects excavated from the Gnalić shipwreck were submitted to The Corning Museum of Glass for examination and chemical analysis. 1 The specimens, which are from the collections of the Narodni Museum in Zadar, consisted of fragments of six glass objects and two pigment

The Chemical Composition of a Faience Bead from China
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During the past few years, there has been a vigorous renewal of interest in the study of ancient Chinese glass. This has been prompted largely by recent archaeological finds and by the availability of new scientific laboratory techniques for studying glass objects. Research in the past decade by

The Use of Equilibrated Silica Gel for the Protection of Glass with Incipient Crizzling
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In a previous publication 1 we have discussed glasses showing incipient crizzling, that is, glasses in the earliest stages of crizzling. This condition threatens many pieces of European, East Asiatic, and American glasses manufactured between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Examples exist

Powder Horn Features Glassblower
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In 2001, The Corning Museum of Glass acquired an object of folk art: a powder horn engraved with the figure of a glassblower [2001.7.4] (Fig. I). Powder horns were necessary accouterments for soldiers and hunters in the 18th century. Many are known from the French and Indian War (1755-1763) and the

Robert Hewes, Glass Manufacturer
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Robert Hewes of Boston is chiefly known among students of American glass as the man who tried unsuccessfully to found a glass factory at Temple, New Hampshire, in 1780-1781. The possibility that The Corning Museum of Glass might undertake an archaeological investigation of the Temple site led the

East Meets West: Cross-Cultural Influences in Glassmaking in the 18th and 19th Centuries
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Beginning in the 13th century, the philosophies, scientific discoveries, and artistic achievements of East Asia gradually became known in Europe. The Chinese began large-scale international trade during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), exchanging goods with Western merchant travelers. 1 The

Medieval Glassmaking in the Levant
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In 1973, a sponge diver reported the discovery of an underwater shipwreck at Serçe Limani on the south coast of Turkey, opposite Rhodes. The wreck was investigated by Professor George Bass, of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, between 1977 and 1979. His investigation revealed that part of the

Beyond Venice: Glass in Venetian Style, 1500-1750
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In Renaissance Europe, the compulsion to copy Venetian glassmaking styles and techniques was no simple fashion fad. The glass was clearly superior in almost every way. The glass was called “cristallo” because it was clear and colorless, a quality the Venetians achieved as early as 1440 by making it

19th Century French Paperweight Makers
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Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint-Louis Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint-Louis, which is named after the sainted King Louis IX, was founded in Lorraine, France, in 1767 and still exists today. Along with Baccarat, it nearly monopolized the French luxury glass industry for many years. In late

Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass
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Mt. Washington and its successor, the Pairpoint Corporation, was one of America’s longest-running luxury glass companies (1837-1957), one that rivaled its better known contemporaries, Tiffany and Steuben. It constantly reinvented and re-invigorated its business through creativity in texture,

The Glass Harmonica
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Performers throughout the 1700s produced sounds by gently rubbing the rims of finely tuned wineglasses with their moistened fingertips. Wineglasses were tuned by adjusting the amount of water in their bowls. After hearing a performance played on musical glasses in England in 1761, Benjamin Franklin

Glass of the Maharajahs
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The Tradition of Glass Furniture The tradition of glass furniture began in the early nineteenth century when the Russian Imperial Glass Works created several tables for members of the imperial family. But it was the opening of the 1851 Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in

The Tradition of the Avant-Garde: Bohemian Glass, 1820–1935
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What is your first association with the term “bohemian”? Does it evoke a fine beer-brewing tradition, or connote unpronounceable town names? Germans have a saying: “lauter böhmische Dörfer” (nothing but Bohemian villages), referring to something completely incomprehensible, because of the odd

A Trip Up a Goat Path Unearths Blaschka-Era Lampworking Table
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Who would have thought that a trip up a goat path would lead to the Museum’s acquisition of a 19th-century lampworking table that was part of the 2007 Botanical Wonders exhibition? In October 2006, Steve Gibbs, the Museum’s manager of events marketing, embarked on a mission to find a lampworking

Lino Tagliapietra
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The glass seemed so light, it appeared to fly It was a spring day in Venice shortly before the end of World War II. The air was filled with a sense of imminent freedom and new possibilities. A young Lino Tagliapietra was playing with a paper ball on the island of Murano, Venice’s glassmaking center

A Fragment of Roman Glass Decorated with Enamel
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In 1975, The Corning Museum of Glass acquired a fragment with enameled ornament that was attributed to the late Hellenistic or early Roman period. 1 It was purchased in the marketplace, and the Museum has no record of its history. The purpose of this note is to suggest that it may have been

Meet the Artist: April Surgent
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April Surgent rethinks engraving and cameo techniques, reaching back to antiquity to create works that look painterly, photographic, and contemporary. Her images come to light through precise cutting and the grinding away of fused glass layers, usually milky white on the top with darker strata

Czech Glass vs. Bohemian Glass
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Do you know the difference between the Czech Republic and Bohemia? The short answer is that there is practically none. Both names refer to nearly the same region, and they are used for historical reasons. From the Middle Ages to 1918, Bohemia was the name of what is today the major part of the

Drawings for American Stained Glass
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Drawings for American %%Stained Glass%%, a 2010 exhibition at the Museum’s Rakow Research Library, showcased 19th- and 20th-century designs from studios and artists across the United States. These designs illustrated the great diversity in style and subject matter in modern American stained glass,

The Hale Reflecting Telescope at Palomar
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Lenses are used in refracting telescopes. Mirrors are used in reflecting telescopes. The mirrors are ground and polished so that a precise concave surface remains to be coated with a shiny, reflective finish. Mirrors concentrate light and focus all colors of the spectrum in an image. No lens can

Crizzling
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The Stages of Crizzling Stage 1: Initial Stage Presence of alkali on the glass gives the surface a cloudy or hazy appearance. Tiny droplets or fine crystals can form if there is high (above 55%) or low (below 40%) relative humidity. Glass may feel slippery or slimy. Washing will remove alkali from

Chocolate and Glass: A Tasty Comparison
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Dr. Samuel R. Scholes established the first glass science program in the United States at New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University, in 1932. He continued to be a leader in the field of glass science and technology at Alfred for over 40 years. In the essay below, he demonstrates his

From the 1908 Ornamental Glass Bulletin: "Odd Uses of Glass"
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"It was only a few months ago that plans were drawn for a house to be built of compressed opalescent glass bricks to be erected at Beechhurst; L.I. The house will be built, as regards material, very similar to some small one and two story office buildings which have been erected in Des Moines,

Restoring Tiffany
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Here’s the ultimate jigsaw puzzle: take 40 pieces of shattered glass in varying sizes, and hundreds of tiny chips of glass, and put them together to restore a rare Tiffany Peacock Eye Lamp base to its full glory. That’s just what the Museum’s conservator, Stephen Koob, has done. Unless you examine

Master of Studio Glass: Richard Craig Meitner
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The ever-evolving work of American artist Richard Craig Meitner, distinguished by its wit and poetry, reflects a variety of influences and ideas, ranging from Japanese textiles, Italian painting, and German Expressionist graphics, to science and the natural world. A new survey of his work, Masters

Glass of the Alchemists
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In the late 17th century, European glassmakers scored two major successes. In Bohemia, the British Isles, and Germany, they produced crystal glass vessels that resembled natural rock crystal. And in Brandenburg, Germany, they also manufactured red vessels—from gold ruby glass—that looked as if they

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