Finding Craftsmen for Specialty Glass Projects
Glass has been around for about 4,000 years. Considering how complicated it is to manufacture, it’s amazing to discover fine, artisan crafted, specialty glass projects that date back to the Hellenists. Glass ornaments have all been uncovered in archaeological finds in ancient Greece, as well as ancient Egypt.
However, compared to the glasswork produced by the Hellenists, these decorative pieces were rather crude. Quality glassware dating back to 300 BC, and hailing from North Africa, were beautiful specimens of tableware. Tableware was the most common work of glassmakers of this period.
As civilization marched onward, the artistry of stained glass began to make its appearance in the Gothic period. These colorful panes became common adornments to cathedrals, often depicting specific biblical characters or stories. Glassmaking was still quite crude, despite the beauty of stained glass. The problem was not in the quality of color or artistry. The flaw was in the texture of the glass. It was not smooth enough to afford a clear view to the other side. Even clear glass panes that were installed in the homes of those who could afford such luxury had to accept this imperfection.
It wasn’t until the 17th century that French glassmakers would finally overcome this problem and create a superior pane of glass. They did this by pouring the molten glass into molds. A finishing process of grinding and polishing resulted in a clear view pane of glass. However, to achieve such perfection was labor intensive, time-consuming and very expensive. Clear glass panes were still not for the common rabble.
It did not take long for this French innovation to become a mechanized process. There is always an industrious entrepreneur who can devise a method to make more and sell more. Within the next century, the first window pane came off the assembly line (so to speak), and was cheap enough to be purchased by the commoners.
Nowadays people take for granted the lowly, obscure window pane. That which is considered to be the reason for its perfection, its clarity, is also what contributes to its obscurity. To the average person, the window pane is invisible, rarely noticed or given a second thought. But, truly, it is a work of art. In a sense, it is a bridge to the outside world as it rests inconspicuously in framework all around us throughout our homes.
Rarely do modern people think about glass or window panes until catastrophe strikes. A broken window or cracked tabletop are responded to with wonder. Where do you get replacement glass? Then, next, the reality is pondered that measurements and dimensions must be precise. And what of installation? If a window, a pane must be set into a framework and sealed against the elements. Suddenly this unimportant object, barely noticed from day to day, becomes a veritable enigma.
As the problem is mulled over, to the delight of creative souls, the prospect arises of replacing the glass with something expressive. Visions of etchings and colorful stain work may dance through the mind. Possibilities begin to be explored. What was thought of as a dreadful household problem-solving chore becomes an opportunity at artistic revelry. A few sketches and samples are created, and a winning design is finally produced. Now what?
Now you find a professional glassmaker. And if true artisanship is your goal, you must find a glassmaker who loves their craft. It is easy to find glass companies who are more than happy to replace a broken window or glass door with an identical duplicate. But if you have a new idea that goes beyond a standard swap, you need a full-service company with years of experience who consider their craft much more than the mechanics of replacement. You need the craftsmanship, skill, and dedication of glassmakers who look upon glass as a thing of artistry and beauty. For your personal glass projects do not hesitate to contact us, you can reach us by phone at (215) 338-3293. As we will be more than happy to explore the possibilities and provide you with a free estimate because we love glass.