Glass is a very versatile material and artists have been producing glass ornamentation for thousands of years. Initially glass was discovered in its natural state, but as man discovered how to make and manipulate glass its uses increased dramatically. The earliest ornaments were glass perfume bottles produced around 700BC by the Phoenicians. Today we have glass in use in every room in the house and whilst much of it is for everyday use, we also enjoy the lovely pieces for decoration.   A common ornament is the glass Christmas ornament, there are different methods of producing ornaments and Christmastime ornaments can show some of the differences

Hand blown glass ornaments- this is as it seems glass is blown by hand relying on the skill of the glassmaker to produce the ornament intended. Mass produced glass decorations can also be blown- these methods used machines to control the production and make all the pieces the same. Glass ball ornaments are often this way.

Glass Icicle ornaments- these can be blown or can be made using torches or kilns to heat the glass then drawing, twisting or working the glass to the shape desired. There is a lot of skill involved in glass working making sure that the glass is warm enough and workable without losing its shape.

Clear Glass ornaments are usually used by the artist or craftsperson as a basis to paint and produce some stunning designs – again most often used for Christmas decorations.

Stained Glass Ornaments – there a several different kinds of ornaments under this banner. The use of paint on glass to produce a stained glass effect Stained Glass Ornamentis commonly called a stained glass ornament. Mostly this is where colored glass is welded together in a pattern of an angel or a frog. The designs are endless and often innovative. Hanging ornaments are common and used for wind chimes and sun catchers. Many local stores will hold examples of this kind of work and stained glass ornaments are popular around Christmas time where hanging stained glass angels sell well. Most recently I have come across an artist who combines stained glass effects with computer components and produces very whimsical designs of mice( with circuit boards for bodies and glass faces) and other computer related items. Visit http://www.usgworks.com/ to find out more.

Swarovski glass ornaments are very popular and beautiful ornaments to have in your house. The glass is coated with special reflective material and facetted to enhance the light effects. There are many lovely pieces and the range is almost endless. Color had been added to many pieces to add another dimension to the effect. And of course glass Christmas ornaments are very popular with limited editions being produced every year.

Etched glass ornaments – These are readily available where the glass has been laser etched and produce a design inside a glass block. The design is often illuminated by a light source underneath and the detail that can be etched is stunning. Before laser were around the glass used to be hand etched and no two designs would be exactly the same.

Steinbach Mountain CabinEngraved glass -this is where the glass is hand cut – old crystal glasses were usually engraved. In terms of ornaments the most stunning I have seen are from an artist called Steinbach. Designs are usually based on prisms and hand carved into the back side, then the completed design is viewed from the front giving a three dimensional representation of the picture.

Paperweights are another form a glass ornament. Many manufacturers produce beautiful effect inside the  glass that adds to their appeal.

Glass ornaments are often collector items, many people collect Caithness or Swarovski. These companies produce limited edition collections adding their attractiveness and allowing the collector to look forward to the next range to be produced.

Glass ornaments are many and varied, almost every home has some. What kind do you have?

Category: Crystal, Ornaments
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