I can’t say that I’m the first one to become enamored with the magical translucent qualities of glass. Glass has been fashioned and worked for thousands of years now. Stained glass plays a major part of religious history in all the Cathedrals of the world. Stained glass is an example of ‘cold’ glass, that is glass that is fashioned into art without the benefit of additional heat.
Glass blowers have been making ornamental bottles and beautiful art for thousands of years. While I envy the beautiful results their ‘hot glass’ artisans, Agile Glass isn’t about this type of glass work.
Fused glass, otherwise known as kiln-formed ‘warm glass’ has been around for roughly three and a half millennia ago, in ancient Egypt. Artisans discovered a way to produce coloured glass objects through a mixture of silica, fluxes, and a variety of oxides melted at temperatures in excess of 2500 degrees Celsius. This became very popular in the culture and many Egyptians began to display fused glass art objects in their homes, and the technique was taken up by an increasingly higher number of artisans across that ancient civilisation over subsequent years.
The Roman Empire also has a rich history of fused glass as well, and it has been widely debated who started the tradition; however the Roman Empire’s history of cultural appropriation is well known. Whoever invented it, it’s widely accepted that both empires developed the technology concurrently.
Once the glass pipe was invented, glass blowing became the norm for glasswork, and glass fusing largely fell to the wayside, becoming at best a secondary form of glassware production. Kiln formed glass took a back seat to blown glass until a resurgence that took place in the early decades of the twentieth century, mostly within the American market, where the technique was rediscovered and once again became popular. This, in turn, helped the technique enter mainstream consciousness once again.
This blog is dedicated to pulling back the curtain and revealing just how these beautiful works of art are created. Stay tuned! I promise way more pictures than this post!