The types and categories found in glass art are formed basically by “How it was made”. The techniques and processes an artist uses to make contemporary art glass are often used in describing the artwork.Many and multiple techniques are used to make glass… But sometimes the most common terms and definitions can be a bit confusing.Take the term ‘glass blowing’ for instance… Sometimes people think of ‘glass blowing’ as something done using long blow pipes with molten glass from a furnace. Other times, they may refer to ‘flame working’ as glass blowing.Are they kind of the same thing? Yes… Are they totally different? Yes.How art glass is madeAlmost all handmade glass art falls into one of three main categories or types of glass;Hot GlassWarm GlassCold GlassHot GlassArtwork made from ‘hot glass’ includes blown glass, solid sculpted glass, and cast glass.Basically, hot glass working involves molten glass with a temperature around 2000° degrees. This hot viscous glass can be used in glass blowing, sculpting, and casting into molds.Work such as glass sculpture, hand blown bowls, vases, goblets, and ornaments are commonly made with hot glass from a furnace.Cast glass or ‘glass casting’ is usually done by ladling the hot molten glass into a mold.Types of Glass ArtThe types and categories found in glass art are formed basically by “How it was made”. The techniques and processes an artist uses to make contemporary art glass are often used in describing the artwork.Many and multiple techniques are used to make glass… But sometimes the most common terms and definitions can be a bit confusing.Take the term ‘glass blowing’ for instance… Sometimes people think of ‘glass blowing’ as something done using long blow pipes with molten glass from a furnace. Other times, they may refer to ‘flame working’ as glass blowing.Are they kind of the same thing? Yes… Are they totally different? Yes.How art glass is madeAlmost all handmade glass art falls into one of three main categories or types of glass;Hot GlassWarm GlassCold GlassHot GlassArtwork made from ‘hot glass’ includes blown glass, solid sculpted glass, and cast glass.Basically, hot glass working involves molten glass with a temperature around 2000° degrees. This hot viscous glass can be used in glass blowing, sculpting, and casting into molds.Work such as glass sculpture, hand blown bowls, vases, goblets, and ornaments are commonly made with hot glass from a furnace.Cast glass or ‘glass casting’ is usually done by ladling the hot molten glass into a mold.Cold GlassCold working or ‘cold worked’ glass involves any techniques or processes done to the glass that is not hot. This type of glass working is often done in conjunction with hot and warm glass.Grinding, polishing, etching, or engraving can be examples of cold-working techniques.Etching or Etched GlassEtched glass, sometimes called ‘frosted‘ glass, can be a much generalized term referring to the surface of the glass being ‘etched’ away.Acid etched glass – This involves applying an acid, like hydrofluoric acid, to the surface of the glass. This creates a matte finish and can give the glass a translucent quality.Sandblasted glass – Sandblasting glass involves blasting with air a gritty material against the surface of the glass. Aluminum oxide or silica carbide can be typical grit mediums often used in sandblasting glass. This can create the same effect as acid etching. I tend to use this method for my work because I have better control… And it is much safer than acid etching.Lampworking or FlameworkingI decided this type of glass art needed to be in its own category. Many of the same glass working techniques are used in ‘flame working’ or ‘lampworking’.The techniques used in ‘lampworking‘ are more closely related to those found in scientific glass blowing.Pre-made ‘borosilicate’ glass tubes and rods are typically used in lampworking. The glass tubing or glass rods are heated with a hand held or bench torch in order to form the glass.Amazing glass sculpture and artwork can be made with the flame working process… This glass making technique is also used for items such as beads, jewelry, ornaments, and small figurines.Flame working with borosilicate glass is popular because it can handle extreme temperature changes without cracking.Common ways art glass is createdGlass is a very versatile material, with many different ways available for creating art in glass. This is just a very basic overview about some common ways contemporary art glass can be made. Links throughout this article can guide you to more in-depth information about many of the above processes.
What is the difference between mass-produced glass ornament and handmade glass ornament?
Mass-produced glass ornament
1.In the factory, bulk quantities of glass are melted and flowed in a ribbon over a series of molds.2.As each mold moves into position in front of the stream of glass, compressed air is blown into the mold to force the glass to uniformly take the shape of the mold. Clear glass is used, and sizes range from about 1.75-5 in (4.4-13cm) in diameter.
3.The ornaments move by conveyor to stations where they coated on the inside with silvering solution to provide the mirror-like reflective properties that will show through the exterior coatings.4.Then, they are coated on the outside by dipping them into a white undercoat or base coat.5.After the undercoat dries, the balls are transported by conveyor to the paint station where they are dipped in lacquer. Red and blue are the most common colors.6.Decorations may be added by machine or by hand and may include painted designs, frosting, glitter, or glued-on decorations. Glass manufacturers can also produce spun glass or fiberglass to decorate the ornaments. Plain ornaments are also made for those who like to decorate their own ornaments at home.7.Metal catches and hooks are prefabricated to the standard sizes of the ornament tops and are attached by machine after the ornaments are decorated; they are made of lightweight metal like aluminum or tin so they are not too heavy for the ornament.8.The finished bulbs are then transferred to packing stations where specially designed packing materials are used to cushion and display the ornaments for sale.
Handmade glass ornament
1.The modern glass blower begins production of a handmade ornament with tubes of glass manufactured by suppliers. The craftsman can melt or cut the tubes into the desired quantity of glass needed for a specific ornament. By spinning the tube over a gas-powered torch, a portion of the glass is softened and kept at a relatively uniform temperature.2.When the glass is ready to be molded, the operator depresses a foot pedal that opens the mold. The molds can be made of plaster, cast iron, graphite, or porcelain. They can have conventional or highly detailed shapes etched into the molds by laser beams. The soft glass is inserted in the mold as the blower puffs on the glassblowing pipe to expand the glass to fit the mold; the glass-worker has three seconds to complete this process because, as soon as the glass touches the mold, it cools and forms. The finished object has all the detail of the mold and is called a hard casting. It also still has a length of tubing called a stem attached to the top, like a rigid puppet on a stick.Mass-producers of ornaments claim that hand blown
ornaments have an inherent disadvantage in that the thickness of the glass may not be uniform, making it subject to breakage. In fact, the skilled artists in Germany have so perfected the combination of glass and glassblowing skills that handmade ornaments may be more durable.
3.In the next step, silvering solution is injected down the stem and swirled to coat the inside of the ornament; the silvering solution can be omitted to produce a translucent ornament that only takes the color of the outer paint and has less of a reflective quality. The silvered hard casting is dipped in white undercoat and allowed to dry.4.Designer ornaments use a palette of colors and details to achieve their uniqueness. The paints used for ornaments are slow drying and tend to run together, so the ornaments must be painted in a hop-scotch fashion leaving adjacent areas untouched until the painted areas are dry. The artist then paints the alternating areas later. Decorations including glitter and ballo, a glitter-like substance that resembles fine sugar crystals, are applied after paints have dried.5.An ordinary glass cutter is then used to cut the stem from the ornament, and the metal cap or catch is snapped in place on the remaining stub. Tags and special packaging to identify and protect the individual ornament are added before shipping.
Identification and Value Guides for Old Glass
Antique and vintage glassware ranges from simple to fantastic, and affordable to outrageous - literally something for everyone. Use these online value guides to help you identify and value many different types of vintage glass.Online Price Guides for Antique & Collectible Glassware from About Antiques:Bedroom & Bathroom GlassCarnival GlassDepression GlassElegant GlassFenton GlassKitchen GlassMilk Glass
Learning about old glassware goes far beyond valuing it, however. In fact, oftentimes you have to figure out what type of glass you own before you can find the value. Take a look at these additional resources to learn more about your antique and collectible glass pieces.
Art GlassSome of the most beautiful and highly valued glass was made by a number of different companies in the 1890s and early 1900s.
Durand Glass - Learn about a company that made gorgeous colored glass in the early 20th century. Tiffany Favrile Glass Marks - See several different marks used on authentic Tiffany glass.Quezal Art Glass - Find out more about this beautiful glass with a connection to Tiffany and Durand.Steuben Glass Works - Read about another glassware company with a following among collectors of art glass.Carnival GlassThis type of glass made by a number of different companies is characterized by its "oil slick" coloring in varied hues.
Carnival Glass Overview - Learn more about the origin of carnival glass and its mid-century revival.Carnival Glass Companies - Find out about some of the companies that made carnival glass at its peak of popularity.Depression GlassThis molded glass is of low quality but its beautiful colors and fancy patterns have garnered a following with collectors nonetheless.
A Closer Look at Depression Glass - Get an overview of the origin of Depression glass along with lots of useful tips for collectors.Depression Glass Patterns - Visit this pictorial guide to help you identify your Depression glass patterns.Cobalt Blue Depression Glass - Learn more about one of the most popular Depression glass colors.Pink Depression Glass - Information on another very popular Depression glass color. Elegant GlassWhile made in both clear and colors like Depression glass, the quality of "elegant" glassware is significantly higher.
Cambridge Glass - One of the most popular producers of what collectors reference as "elegant" glass.Fostoria Glass - Another very familiar name with collectors of high-quality elegant glassware. Heisey Glass - Rounding out the top companies in elegant glassware production, Heisey has a great following among collectors. Duncan and Miller Glass - While not as well known as the "big three" in elegant glassware production, this company made some lovely pieces in the same vein.
Fenton GlasswareOne of the most prolific of American glassware companies, Fenton made everything from cranberry glass to milk glass in a plethora of patterns.
Kitchen GlassAn offshoot of Depression glass, many useful items were made in a variety of colors in the 1920s and '30s.
Delphite Glass - This type of opaque blue glass was used for novelty items and tableware, but many kitchenware pieces were made with this type of glass, too.
Fire King - One of the most prolific names in kitchenware production, Fire King is very well known among fans of collectible glass.Jadeite Glass - Martha Stewart revived the popularity of this glass in the mid-1990s and it has been a favorite among decorators and collectors alike ever since.
Platonite Glass - While tableware was also made with this type of white glass (that differs from milk glass), many collectors associate it with kitchen glass items.
Milk GlassThis opaque white glass popular around the turn of the 20th century and again in the 1940s and '50s.