A Brief Explanation of the History of Glass

“When did we start blowing glass?” Everyone asks us this question!  Well, you can answer that in multiple ways, two of which are “When did we start blowing glass” or “When did human’s fascination with glass begin?” We will save our personal story for another day.

Short History of Glass

Glassmaking began about 5000 years ago.  Glassblowing is much younger being only about 2000 years old. People first created small cast glass objects in molds or shaped them with simple tools somewhere before 2000 BC in Mesopotamia. A great place to get a more detailed view of the history of glass is on the Corning Museum of Glass website. This includes some beautiful images of some of the first glass made by humans.

Here’s an image of some of our first glass!first glass

Stone Age man used natural glass objects to fashion spear points and sharp cutting tools. The earliest known human-made glass objects were beads. The first beads probably resulted as an accidental by-product of other efforts, like metal-working. During the late Bronze Age in Egypt and Western Asia, there was rapid growth in glassmaking technology, including colored glass.

There is a rich history of glass as a luxury item. Glass-making developed slightly differently in each of the world’s cultures. By the 14th century, the island of Murano was the center for luxury Italian glassmaking due to the abundance of pure quartz pebbles.

US Studio Movement

In the 1960s, The American Studio Glass Movement began.  A teaching ceramicist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Harvey Littleton joined forces with the Toledo Museum of Art.   Two historic glassblowing workshops were held. Dominick Labino, a glass research scientist, also devised a small, inexpensive furnace to melt and work glass. After these workshops and learnings, Littleton started a glass program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Some of the early students of this program (Dale ChihulyMarvin Lipofskyand Fritz Dreisbach) became the innovative artists who led glass into its artistic forms of today.

Glass is involved in every facet of our lives. Come with us and join in the world of glass. See it move, add color, give it some form. Be a part of the Texas glass blowing movement by holding a party or event at our studio or joining in on one of our Glass Blowing Experiences, Workshops, or Classes.

Enriching lives in artistic self-expression.