Glass Blowing History

Glass blowers may also be called glass smiths or gaffers, and their art of glassblowing is inflating hot glass through a pipe or tube and manipulating that glass into an assortment of shapes, figurines, bowls, bongs and dinnerware. Modern day glass blowing can be showcased in the finest art galleries internationally.

There is certainly some science tied to glass blowing via the heat and making the glass pliable. However, we also consider it one of the most beautiful arts. There is evidence of the art found during excavations in old Jerusalem from 37 to four BC. Even then, they were teaching themselves to blow glass tubes, rods, and bottles. That is just amazing!

The art progressed through the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, and the Industrial Revolution.

It wasn’t until the early 1960s when a chemist, engineer and a ceramics professor started experimentation with melting glass in a small furnace, which kicked off what was called the “studio glass movement.” This industry-altering event happened at the University of Wisconsin when they offered the fine arts glass program in the US. From there, we quickly grew into having several modern glass artists.

Antique carnival glass is one of the most beautiful art forms for coloring and glass blowing. Carnival glass is made by molding and pressing the glass; however, it gained its popularity because it closely resembled the finer and far more expensive Tiffany glasses, which were blown glass. Carnival glass is still known for beautifully reflecting light in dark rooms thanks to its colorful, bright finish.

Milk glass originally made first in the 16th century Venice may be either blown or pressed. It was referred to “milk” glass because of its unique opaque color. But it was initially called opal glass. And it wasn’t always white, in the earliest days it could have been pink, yellow, brown, blue, or black, yet it still had that same translucent look.