Are You Shopping for Glass Art or Glass Decor?

Are you a shopping for authentic, high quality glass art as luxury decor for your homes or office? You may not think of of yourself as a collector. However, you might begin a wonderful fine art glass collection this way!

According to Wikipedia:

Glass art refers to individual works of art that are substantially or wholly made of glass. These range in size from monumental works and installation pieces, to wall hangings and windows. This can include to works of art made in studios and factories, including glass jewelry and tableware.

Most historians think the Phoenicians invented glass.  Of course, glass has a long history as a decorative and functional medium.  In fact, the history of glass art extends back from modern studios to early Venetians, Romans, Egytians and Assyrians. Murano, one of the Venetian islands, is still held as the birthplace of modern glass art. The great variety of glass art from around the world reflects the range of cultures that used it as a material.

There was a huge change in the glass blowing at the turn of the 20th century. Due to technical advances, mechanical bottle blowing and continuous window glass replaced masters of the old art glass factories.

Jewelry and Glass Art

Millefiori Jewelry PendantAncient artists made beads and other small pieces of decoration from glass. Even today, this is still one of the most common ways to use glass in art.

Later, artisans used glass decoration in functional jewelry such as watches.

Today, artists often make beads by lampworking or fusing, without a furnace. However, glass blowers still make millefiori beads from hot glass in a glass furnace.

Art Glass Vessels

Small bottles, bowls and other glass vessels are some of the earliest works of functional glass art. As glassblowing developed into an art form, artists made goblets, decanters and pitchers. In fact, they developed many early techniques of forming, coloring and etching glass. 

For instance, the millefiori technique dates back at least to Rome. More recently, artists on Murano developed calcedonia glass to mimic the colorful striations of natural stone such a chalcedony, agate and marble.

In the 20th century, most mass-produced glass work and glass vessels is called factory glass.  Today, some collectible factory glass vessels reveal great artistic sensitivity but they remain production pieces.

Modern glass artists create a wide variety of glass art vessels. However, they are rarely functional and collectors seek them for their beauty and collectibility.

 

Solid Glass Art

Early glass artists used the casting technique. Early glass artists made glass art pieces by casting.

In the 20th century, most mass-produced glass work and glass vessels is called factory glass.  Today, some collectible factory glass vessels reveal great artistic sensitivity but they remain production pieces.

Modern glass artists create a wide variety of glass art vessels. However, they are rarely functional and collectors seek them for their beauty and collectibility.

Glass Architecture

Stained glass windows

Early production techniques limit windows to small clear or colored panels. Consequently, artists used this material to create stained glass windows in cathedrals, grand civic buildings.

Structural Glass and Functional Glass Art

In the early 20th century, modern companies developed plate glass. Factories produced glass at larger scales. Additionally, this glass also supported structural loads. By the 20th century, designers made tables and shelves, internal walls, and even for floors out of glass.