Rose Colored Glasses and More...
Slags, obsidian, halophile, saltwort & alkali
This isn’t a witch’s brew, however, it is some of the words used when describing the history of glass making. The history of glass goes back to the third-millennium BCE, in beads that were found, most likely used for trade. If you walk in the back room of The Guild Shop, or even take a gander in the high-end crystal cases in our boutique section, you will note that we have a world of history and color within our walls that is so intense and varied, you will be amazed.
The photo above, often represents a typical mix of beautiful glass vessels that we have at The Guild Shop. Most any day, you can find a plethora of colors, different shapes and perhaps even an antique or vintage piece that can add light and color to your décor. We also have beautiful crystal pieces, like Waterford, Tiffany & Baccarat, but that is a blog on its own.
My mother-in-law taught me so much about antique American glass, as she is a collector of these pieces. I’ve learned a bit about different makers, styles and values of these pieces. I spent a bit of time outside of Wimberly, TX, taking a glass blowing class, where we made our own ornaments. My appreciation for this skill and for the science behind glass has grown over the years. And now I also seek out beautiful pieces.
Glass has three main ingredients: silica (sand), an alkali flux (potash or soda) and a stabilizer (lime of lead). Additional items can be added, but this is the recipe for glass creation. Glass blowing, glass pressing, glass molding are all techniques that developed in the 19th c. Tax levies in 1824 began to stimulate the American glass industry and from there it took off to create its own look that was different from the UK, but also from Bohemian glass.
I love all the colors arranged in the photo above, but the stars of the show are the two Mount Washington Satin Quilted vases (I have not verified their marking). The Mount Washington Glass Company was founding in South Boston in 1837. It rivaled Tiffany and Steuben, but was sold in 1957.
Earlier in the year, I did see two pieces in The Guild Shop that were so beautiful, including a Fenton Hobnail Pitcher. Both Victorian Art Glass pitchers below are from my own collection, but is an example of this style. The Hobnail was styled like the boot nails. Often you will see Hobnail in the white Milk Glass pieces that The Guild Shop often has as well. The Red Pitcher is beautiful hand-painted with enamel and the pattern called Coin-spot Art Glass. All these glass pieces hold history in the making.
All of these colorful glass pieces are such fun to collect and place in the proper light so that they shine. I also like buying these pieces to place flower for a beautiful gift that “keeps on giving” after the flowers wilt.
Come into The Guild Shop and find a treasure of colorful glass and see if you too can find its history.