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Glossary of glass art terms

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Title: Glossary of glass art terms  
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Subject: Fourcault process, Slumping, Overflow downdraw method, Heritage Glass Museum, Glass art
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Glossary of glass art terms

A glossary of terms used in Glass art

  • Cane, rods of glass with color, either single or multiple (see also zanfirico/twisted cane)
  • Cast,[1] Glass formed by pouring hot glass into a mold (sand casting) or kiln-casting using the cire perdue (lost wax) method. Any use of hot glass where the metal is poured out or off of a tool without being cut or broken.
  • Cullet, broken or waste glass suitable for remelting
  • Frit, crushed glass often melted onto other glass to produce patterns and color
  • Incalmo, the grafting or joining together, while still hot, of two separately blown glass [bubbles] to produce a single [bubble].[2]
  • Lampwork, alternate name Flamework,[1] the technique of forming glass using a bench top or handheld heat source, formerly lamps, more often today a bench-mounted oxy/propane torch, to shape and form the glass with the use of tongs, forceps, knives and other small tools. Borosilicate glass is the most common form of glass to be manipulated using this technique.
  • Latticino, Italian decorative glassblowing technique. Latticino refers to any glass piece created using colored glass canes.
  • Latticello A decorative glassblowing technique. A "Latticello" is a complicated design where the glass artist uses a "Latticino" to create a "Reticello" like pattern. Although the "Latticino" and the "Reticello" are both classic Italian techniques, The "Latticello" is a modern day twist on classic design.
  • Lehr, a specialized, temperature-controlled kiln for annealing glass.[3]
  • Mandrel, metal rod used to construct a glass bead around. When cooled and removed, the space occupied by the mandrel creaes the hole through the bead.
  • Marver, a tool used in glassblowing A marver is a large flat table. The glass piece is rolled across is surface. It is used to not only shape the glass, but to remove heat as well. The rapid absorption of heat by the marver creates a stronger skin (surface tension) than the use of a wooden tool. Marver is derived from the word "marble." Marble was originally used in the construction of this specialized table. Modern marvers are made of steel, typically stainless steel. Lampworkers use small graphite marvers mounted on or near their torches.
  • Millefiori,[1] an Italian term (a thousand flowers) describing a style of murrine defined by internal patterns made by layering a number of colors and shaping each with an optic mold while molten. This style of murrine results in designs that are often flower-like.
  • Murrine, Italian term for patterns or images made in a glass cane (long rods of glass) that are revealed when cut or chopped in cross-sections.
  • Pate de verre,[1] a paste of ground or crushed glass, and the technique of casting this material into a mold; also applied to a more general range of cast-glass objects.
  • Prunt, a small blob of glass fused to a piece of glass, often impressed with a pattern or stamp
  • Reticello, Italian decorative glassblowing technique. This involves the merging of two cane bubbles (one inside the other) in which the straight canes were twisted in opposite directions. Once merged, the opposingly twisted canes cross each other creating a net like pattern. If done the traditional way, small air bubbles will be trapped in a grid pattern between the crossing canes.
  • Rod, a rod of glass used as a raw material in forming and fusing glass
  • Twisty cane, a cane formed out of different coloured glass twisted together - also known as zanfirico cane
  • Vitreography is a term that can refer either to a particular art form or to a technique for art printmaking. As an art form, vitreography refers to a style of contained 3-dimensional scenes displayed in a shadow box frame. As a fine art printing technique is refers to the use a 3⁄8-inch-thick (9.5 mm) float glass matrix instead of the traditional matrices of metal, wood or stone.
  • Zanfirico, Italian decorative glassblowing technique involving intricate patterns of colored glass canes arranged and twisted to comprise a pattern within a new single glass cane. These new patterned canes are then used to create a glass work.


  1. ^ a b c d | last = Fairbanks | first = Jonathan L. | coauthors = Pat Warner | title = Glass Today by American Studio Artists | publisher = Museum of Fine Arts Boston | date = 1997 | pages = 75 | isbn = 0-87846-447-6
  2. ^ Carl I. Gable, Murano Magic: Complete Guide to Venetian Glass, its History and Artists (Schiffer, 2004), pp. 13-41. ISBN 0-7643-1946-9.
  3. ^ E. F. Collins (1921) Electrically heated glass annealing Lehr. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 4 (5), 335–349.
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