Finally, it was realized that the glass bulb on the end of the blowpipe could be shaped freehand to any form desired, and handles, feet, and decorative elements could be added at will.
Alexandrian wheel engravers produced not only massive cut shapes, but also intaglio incised and relief surface decoration, the latter by laboriously grinding back the surface of the glass to form a background for the de. Although some engraving shows an impoverished linear style eked out by lines scratched with a hard stone point, some is executed by means of wheels sufficiently thick to permit rounded cuts corresponding to the modelling of the human figure, and simulating it when the piece is seen against the light.
In Egypt during the Ptolemaic period — bc Alexandria came to the fore in glassmaking. Slices from such canes could be arranged side by side to produce repetitive patterns. The discovery of glass blowing may well be credited to the Syrian glassworkers, since the first mold-blown glasses bear the atures of Syrian masters and since the readily ductile Syrian soda glass was especially apt for this purpose.
In Britain the industry was probably not of great importance. A considerable school of glass engraving also seems to have flourished, probably around Cologne. Load Next .
Considerable virtuosity, however, was displayed from c. In Egypt the art of glass suffered a catastrophic decline; only small rough vessels of impure green or blue material were manufactured. An Alexandrian technical speciality more important for the future, however, was moldingglass being pressed into, or powdered glass melted in, a mold.
Syrian glassworkers, however, seem to have migrated wherever demand promised a ready market, and some masters of mold blowing appear to have moved to Italy early in the 1st century ad ; in the course of that century Italy became an important glass-producing area. Glass engraving especially seems to have flourished there and particularly one form of the art—grinding through an opaque white layer to a darker ground cameo glass.
The most famous example of this exacting technique is the Portland vase, in the British MuseumLondon.
Halloween in alexandria va
Wheel engraving appears to have become an Alexandrian specialty around the 1st century bc and probably continued so throughout the two succeeding centuries. In Syria during the same period, however, this trailing technique, which was particularly suitable to the ductile Syrian material, was carried to extreme lengths—thre circling the body or neck of a vessel, a profusion of zigzags, and fantastically worked handles.
With the breakdown of the Roman Empire, glassmaking fared differently in different parts of the world. In the East, Syria appears to have continued its predilection for trailed and applied ornamentation. In Egypt in the later centuries of the Roman epoch glass was in frequent use for tablewarebut artistic standards were not high.
Relatively simple shapes were made of an impure greenish or yellowish material, and decoration was restricted to simple trails of thread. Bowls were often finished around the rim with a cordon made of a clear glass thread twisted with one of opaque white.
Additional Info. Load. Alexandria inherited and perfected the manipulation of coloured glass rods to make composite canes, which, when cut across, revealed a de mosaic glass.
In addition to the luxury vessels of types already described, which were produced with an elaboration of skill that astonishes and often baffles the modern technician, commercial containers in great variety were mass-produced in common greenish glass on a scale that was not matched until the 19th century. The next stage was to use molds for forms, such as flasks, that could not be made by pressing.
City of alexandria, virginia
Other specialties attributed to Alexandria were enamel painting pigments mixed with a glassy flux were fused to the surface of the glass vessel by a separate firing and an extraordinary technique of sandwiching a gold leaf etched with a de between two layers of clear glass. Similar equipment probably produced the numerous pieces that give every appearance of having been cut from a solid block of glass or at least from a thick, mold-pressed blank.
Sometimes such cable thre were themselves coiled round and round from a centre to make a bowl of lacy appearance, with the opaque white glass thre apparently set in a clear colourless matrix. The most important innovation in the whole history of glass manufacture was blowing.
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Perhaps by a stroke of pure inventive genius it was perceived that glass on the end of a hollow metal tube could be blown into a mold as easily as it had theretofore been pressed in. In the northern provinces, however, glassmaking became an affair of small, often isolated, glasshouses working in the forests that supplied them with fuel.
This liberating discovery, probably made during the 1st century bcgave rise to the astonishing growth of the glass industry in Roman imperial times. Both types of decoration flourished in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Decoration in this late period is mainly restricted to a few rough-cut lines, an occasional group of coloured glass blobs on the lamps, or a zigzag trail of glass thread running between the lip and the shoulder of a vase.
Fall in alexandria
The Rhinelandhowever, leaf one of the great glassmaking areas of the Roman world partly, it is thought, because of successive migrations of Near Eastern workers and, although Dating glass is always recognizably Roman, several types of decorated glass were specialities of the district. Such pieces usually flat dishes or two-handled cups follow Alexandria contemporary forms of pottery and metalwork.
The capacity of the Italian glass craftsman to surpass all earlier masters in work of the most complex character is seen in the so-called cage cups diatretaon which the de—usually a mesh of circles that touch one another, with or without a convivial inscription—is so undercut that it stands completely free of the body of the vessel, except for an occasional supporting strut.
These cups were made perhaps at Aquileia and date from the 3rd and 4th centuries. By about the 1st century bcwhich saw the beginnings of glass as known today, it had become preeminent in certain glass techniques.
All these pieces might be finished with a fire polish by returning them to the furnace, but many mold-pressed glasses were, in fact, given a rotary polish, either by means of a spinning wheel fed with abrasives or by a process similar to lathe turning, in which the object spins and the tool is stationary. Simple motifs such as lotus buds or lotus flowers were produced in this way and occasionally more elaborate figural compositions were also done. A combination of this process with the millefiori technique produced bowls with variegated des in infinite variety.
Sometimes glass of various colours was irregularly compounded to give the effect of a natural veined stone; occasionally enclosures of gold leaf in the glass simulated the glitter of natural pyrites aventurine glass.