Let the kiln rest for a while. You are about to read a concise yet informative History of fused glass art. It’s alright if you didn’t understand the mention to kiln. You see, fused glass is glass that has been put inside a kiln at high temperatures so it can be worked as sculpture material. It is a very ancient art as we’re about to see and it never became really out of fashion, and what I mean by that it’s that fused glass art always had admirers throughout human history, since its origins until the days we live in.
Let’s begin our journey through time then and explore the history of fused glass art.
There are no academic consensus behind fused glass art origins. Some say it first appeared in Egypt, others say it was in Rome, others say it was a Greek invention, others say we owe it to the Mesopotamians or to the Celtics, others move its origins to the Far East. Frankly I would not be surprised if I saw someone claiming that fused glass art actually came from Atlantis. What we can learn from all that it’s that the thing is ancient, and as a matter of fact there are theories that defends that this kind of technology, let’s call it that way, was actually invented in many places more or less around the same era, and that would be the reason of so much confusion about its origin.
Fused art glass became so popular around the world that it became present in several properties within several civilizations. The middle ages were famous for its wonderful cathedrals adorned with those also wonderful stained glass, but fused glass art didn’t lose territory during that thousand years, on the contrary, many new techniques were discovered and the art evolved.
Little has changed in the following centuries. Several homes continued to be decorated with those fine pieces of fused glass art and the sculptures and household items made also according to those techniques continued to be made all around the civilized world.
I did say fused glass art never went out of fashion, and it’s true. However, there were a meaningful loss of interest on the part of the Western World and both the production and the number of places with fused glass art pieces decreased significantly, but not significantly enough for the art to be considered dead as some of the oldest arts in human history are.
Furthermore, nowadays we see renewed interest in fused glass art and new methods of fusing are being experimented. The production of these goods is again on the rise and there are plenty of homes, hotels, theaters, hospitals, offices and public buildings in general that possess fused art glass among its items of decoration.
It is safe to assume that fused glass art will only cease to exist when we are not here anymore for it has walked alongside mankind since a long, long time ago. While other forms of art have fallen and were engulfed by the tides of time, fused glass art still with us.
So easy to break yet so lasting. This could mean something.