Artisans have been crafting glass into useful and artistic items for nearly 5000 years of human history. Through the ages, glassmaking has become more specialized, with subcategories in nearly every industry. While practical applications, such as windows and tableware, are functional, the nature of glass creation allows form and function to be eternally melded in these uses.
Objects as Individual as Their Creators
Art glass is a glasswork that is often used integrate utilization and beauty. This is done through various ways, like stained glass or glass block walls. The variety of colors that glass can be is nearly endless, with new techniques being discovered and perfected all the time. Artisanal glass can be found virtually everywhere from childhood toys such as marbles to stunning sculptures and neon lighting.
How an artist chooses to create each piece of glass art is also rapidly expanding. Artistic expression has been crossing stylish borders since glassmaking began and continues to this day. Blown glass has changed relatively little in its basic technique since its discovery in Imperial Roman Syria in 50BC. True, advancements have been made, such as kiln design and blow-pipe steel innovations, but the basic process of heating a glob of glass on the end of a pipe and rotating the pipe quickly while blowing through a hollow tube remains the same.
Bright and Shiny Man-Made Glass Gems
Glass has the amazing ability to absorb light while also reflecting it. Since glass is an amorphous solid, or a liquid is a virtually solid perpetual state, it offers artisans the ability to mold and shape molten glass into delicate crystal vases or hollow multicolored tubed globes that water your plants for you. The functionality of art glass goes far beyond being sparkly and beautiful. It’s a static object created out of liquid silica that is frozen in time; glass making is science in action.
Glassworks have been expertly crafted to tell stories through stained glass murals, recreate plant and animal life, light up the dark, and say so much without words that it has become part of the human identity. We are creatures drawn to the smooth reflective surfaces, surprising weight and strength and simultaneous fragility. Delicate beadwork by indigenous peoples of every continent has traditional roots that reach into prehistory.
Symbolism and Symmetry Mixed with Science
Throughout the thousands of years people have utilized the technologies of glazing and glassblowing, the demand for products made of the stuff has endured steadily, only notably falling out of use during the Middle Ages. Except for that historic period, art glass has been influential in social, economic, technological, industrial, culinary, and environmental settings.
A Clearly, and Sometimes Opaquely, Unique Substance
Depression glass in its varying hues of reds, greens and purples and amber glass for storing beverages are just a few iconic instances of the form and functionality of glass. Amulets, boxes, and even glass slippers have all played roles in mankind’s loftiest dreams. Art glass is both historic and full of futuristic vision.