Glass Making Process
Essentially, the process of making glass hasn’t changed much since ancient times. High heat is used to fuse the materials of pulverized sandstone, potash and lime. Placed in fired potters clay vessels then boiled down, skimmed, and cooled down from a very high temperature. The molten glass will be poured into molds and pressed or blown into molds and formed. Today most of the hollow glass pieces such as light bulbs or bottles are machine blown for mass production. Some of the fine glassware is made by the accumulation of glass at one end of an elongated, iron blowpipe and by blowing into it creating a shape to be rolled or formed
Glassware in general is the make up of objects or vessels made of glass. Such items would include tableware to set up a table for eating a meal. Glass dishes or plates and the nature of the glass tableware will vary from each culture or type of meal. Many of the glass plates, dishes or bowls will normally be for serving or made for decorative purposes.
Tumblers remain the most common glass vessels used in today’s society. These flat-bottomed glasses do not have a handle or a stem and range from many varieties. Many styles for a specific beverage including juice drinks to alcohol and beer may fill the rims of the tumbler. Related drinking glassware would be the stemware, used for the wines or cocktail beverages. Some of the stemware are produced out of a fine lead crystal which is strong and durable but a more expensive glass. Some examples would be Champagne flutes, Chalices, Cocktail glasses and Cordial glasses. A table setting of glass may also usher in the glass piece with a handle. This type of glass container may be much larger and will hold more fluid than your common drinking glass. The mug, beer steins, and pitchers made of glass have a use and purpose, for drinking or containing beverages.
Other Glassware Items
The glass vase which carries many designs and style is an open container to hold flowers. The vase may be embellished with cut glass of incised patterns and is sometimes a great piece of art for the collector. A great example of a fine glass collectors vase would be the Portland Vase. This first century Roman vase was made of dark blue glass and decorated with white cameo figures. Many of today’s glass vases have evolved from the more customary types to the more modern designs and shapes.
Glass art has many mediums to include stained glass, glass bead-making, glass casting, and glass sculptures to name a few. Stained glass is a window created with fitted pieces of decorative colored glass, which began in the medieval times. Glass beads are an artistic vision of adornment, mainly for jewelry or lamp-work. There are many fine qualities of glass beads today. The Czech faceted fire polished glass beads for example, have been fashioned and worn by all walks of life.
One of the most popular maker of glass products today originated over a century ago and is still designing glass pieces today. The Fenton Art Glass Company is the largest producer of handmade colored glass in America. Well known for the fine craftsmanship and individual handlers mark, noted by the skilled tradesman that created the piece. During the early 1900’s Fenton’s design influenced other glass artists at Tiffany and Steuben. Fenton also introduced the “Carnival” glass which was considered “Iridescent” glass in 1907. During the depression era Fenton glass became more practical, producing mixing bowls and tableware items. Today Fenton Glass still produces some of the finest design and colored glass artistry to date.
The multifaceted styles and designs of glassware has been with us for centuries. The practical uses of glass products down to the collectors agenda, will keep the glass industry producing for many years to come.