Glossary of Glass Terms

Art Deco – A style of visual arts particularly associated with the 1920s and 1930s that first appeared in France. The name derives from Arts Décoratifs, from an exhibition held in Paris in 1925.

Blow pipe or blowing iron – A hollow tube, usually of iron or steel, used to take a gather of molten glass from a crucible in a furnace, through which air is blown to form a bubble, to form and shape articles of hollow glassware.

Cameo - Glass made from two or more layers of different colours where one or more layers are removed by carving, cutting, etching, sandblasting or other means, leaving a design in relief against a background of different colour.

Cut glass – Glassware, usually of clear crystal, cut with facets, grooves and depressions using a rotating wheel of iron or stone.

Graal – A technique developed in Sweden in the early 1900s where a pattern is cut or etched through an outer later to reveal an inner layer. The item is then reheated to smooth out the surface, and finally cased with clear glass.

Incalmo – A technique where two parts, usually of different colour, are fused together to form a single piece. The technique requires high technical skills by the glassmaker.

Jacks - see Pucellas

Marver – a polished iron, steel or marble table upon which hot glass is rolled.

Mould blown – Blowing of glass into a mould.

Mouth blown – Entirely free blown glass, where air is forced into molten glass through a blow pipe aka blowing iron.

Opalescent - Glass with a milky white opaque or translucent effect. There are three main ways to create this effect:

  1. Slower cooling of thicker areas of moulded glass, resulting in internal milky white glass crystallisation.
  2. Reheating of certain areas of moulded glass as they begin to cool, with the glass containing heat reactive chemicals such as bone ash or arsenic salts.
  3. In mouth blown glass, using two layers of glass with the outer layer containing heat sensitive chemicals.

Pucellas – A tool similar to tongs used for shaping glass during the blowing process or when forming the mouths on open vessels.

Shears – A tool used to trim a piece of glassware in the course of its making.

Studio glass – Glass made by skilled artisan glassmakers rather than by glassmakers or automated processes in a large-scale industrial manufacturing facility.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License