Contemporary Glass Art

Art glass means the modern art glass movement in which individual artists are working to generate works from molten glass in relatively small furnaces of a few hundred pounds of glass. It began in the early 1960s and showed continued growth throughout the end of the century. The glass objects created are not primarily serviceable but are projected to make a sculptural or decorative statement.

Prior to the early 1960s, art glass would have referred to glass made for decorative use, habitually by teams of factory workers, taking glass from furnaces with a thousand or more pounds of glass. This form of art glass, of which Tiffany and Steuben in the U.S.A., Gallé in France and Hoya Crystal in Japan and Kosta Boda in Sweden are perhaps the best known, grew out of the factory system in which all glass objects were cast blown by teams of 4 or more men. In fact, the turn of the 19th Century was the height of the old art glass movement while the factory glass blowers were being replaced by mechanical bottle blowing and incessant window glass. In an art glass studio, "production work" shows more hand worked variation than was allowed in pure factory work environment and every piece shows some of the lead glass worker's creativity. Most studio glass workers also try to turn out larger individual pieces which might be the corresponding of a master piece in the journeyman system of guild and factory work in addition to smaller production pieces.

Types of Art Glass:

- Blown Art Glass
- Cast Art Glass
- Fused and slumped Art Glass

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