Studio art glass refers to handmade glass objects made by an individual or a small team of artists rather than mass-produced pieces that are part of a line of products. Glass artists, as they are known, include glassblowers, stained-glass artists, and people who practice various cold-working techniques, from sandblasting to engraving.

The American branch of this international movement is not that old, usually dated to 1962, when a University of Wisconsin-Madison ceramics professor named Harvey Littleton taught a glassblowing workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art. By that fall, Littleton was teaching glassblowing to his Madison students. Some of the biggest names in American studio glass would pass through Littleton’s program, including Dale Chihuly, Marvin Lipofsky, and Fritz Dreisbach.

At first, Littleton’s own work riffed on classic art-glass forms, but by the 1970s he was fusing, cutting, and polishing glass in an effort to almost freeze it in its molten state. The pieces he made as a part of his Arc series in the 1980s are perhaps his best-known works.

Marvin Lipofsky was equally influential, teaching glass to students at both the University of California, Berkeley, and at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, whose glass program he founded in 1967. Among his students were Dick Marquis and Benjamin Moore, both of whom were highly influenced—albeit in very different ways—by Italian art glass techniques associated with artisans working on the island of Murano.

For his part, Lipofsky’s work evolved into rounded shapes that were blown into molds and then cut and cold-worked later, in the tradition, if not the manner, of Littleton.

Meanwhile, on the east coast, Dale Chihuly graduated in 1969 from the glass program at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. By 1971 he had helped found the Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle, Washington. There, in 1974, Moore met Chihuly, with whom he worked, on and off, along with Richard Royal, William Morris, Flora Mace, Joey Kirkpatrick, and other many other artists in the 1970s and ’80s.

After earning his own MFA from RISD and spending a couple of summers working at the Venini glass factory in Murano, Moore found his own aesthetic. Unlike Chihuly, who took his in...

Fritz Dreisbach also mined Italian techniques to create his art. In particular, Dreisbach excelled at using twisted, colored rods of glass—which are often sliced and then reformed to create murrine or millefiori pieces—as the foundations for impossibly heavy vases. At the other extreme, Dreisbach blew impossibly delicate crystal goblets that he’d festoon with his uniquely curious hot-worked decorations.

In recent years, a new crop of U.S. studio glass artists has achieved international recognition. Among them is Dante Marioni, whose technical precision and unerring sense of artistry can be seen in pieces such as his Reticello Leaf Vases from 2007.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

This fabulous site is a guide to Bohemian art glass makers from 1885 to 1920. Loetz was the premier Bohemian glass … [read review or visit site]

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Chris and Val Stewart’s impressive attempt to create a complete catalogue of all known cloud glass, a decorative … [read review or visit site]

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

The heart of this website, home of the Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club, is the Identification Project, whe… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage 1989 Signed Craig Zweifel Studio Art Glass Iridescent Vase Pt Pattern Lovely 7" Tall Vintage Orient & Flume Art Glass Paperweight VaseVintage Vandermark American Studio Art Glass Pulled Feather Blue Glass Vase NrVtg 70s Sterling Silver Lundberg Studios Art Glass Modernsit Astronomy NecklaceVntg Signed Vandermark Studio Art Glass Iridescent Pulled Feather Fan Vase 13.5"Unique, Rare Murano Mosaic Art Glass VaseOriginal 2000 Larkspur Seafoam ChihulyLarge 9" Steven Correia Hand Blown Studio Art Glass Corset Vase 1986Original Richard Satava Art Glass Red And Amber Harvest Moon Through Trees VaseVintage Dated 1975 Hand Blown Art Glass Vase Reddish Orange Etch Signed SmithDaniel Salazar Lundberg American Studio Art Glass Floral Paperweight VaseOrient & Flume Opalescent Acorn Vase SignedHand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - Wall Hanging #452 - Turquoise Wave PatternVintage Nuutajarvi 1793 Oiva Toikka Art Glass Red Apple Finland Signed W/labelLundberg Studios 1981 Art Glass Perfume Bottle - Butterfly & FlowersSet Of 4 Mackenzie Childs Aurora Garland Glass Dessert Plates + More AvailableSigned Robert Eickholt Art Glass Pulled Feather Vase Vcl Ew 2005Set Of 4 Birds Birds By Oiva Toikka Iittala Art Glass Signed Superb 11 1/4" Simon Pearce Studio Art Glass Meriden Pitcher 128 Oz. Extra LargeWonderful Mini Art Glass Pumpkin By John Fenton Cobalt W/ Green Curly StemCorreia Art Glass Vase Iridescent Faceted Cased Cobalt Signed Limited Ed Of 250Incredible Salamandra Art Glass Vase Mid Century Modern Or Nouveau DesignScott And Laura Curry Hand Blown Art Glass Bowl Signed 2001Labino Rare Bottle With Matching StopperRollin Karg Twist SculptureArt Deco Style Cameo Glass Vase Signed Charder Vintage ReproductionGlass Flower Hand Blown Crafted Art Long Stem 12" Bouquet Lot Of 6Beautiful Mark Sudduth Art GlassMid Century Modern Higgins Art Glass Black White Gold AshtrayMackenzie Childs 4 Small Confetti GlassesVintage Tiffany & Co. Crystal Decanter,faceted Stopper,great Condition!Vintage Tiffany & Co. Crystal Decanter,huge Stopper,great Condition!Stunning Tiffany Style Art Glass Blue And White Vase Signed Elaine Hyde Signed Magnum Kent F Ipsen Abstract PaperweightSimon Pearce Stratton 8" Cylinder Bud Vase Air Twist Base Studio Made In UsaZellique Studio Art Glass Perfume Bottle W Wisteria Design.3 Bracelets Finished Dichroic Fused Glass Cuff Handmade LampworkHand Blown Glass Art Wall Platter Bowl Frit #5914 Blue OneilBorowski Art Glass FrogBeautiful Eickholt Glass Vase Pulled Feather Signed 1991Lundberg Studios Contemporary Art Glass, Gold Heart And Vine Jewelry Dish2 Large Dichroic Rainbow Waterfall Necklace 18" 925 Sterling Silver Snake Chain Stuart Abelman Studio Art Glass Vase 1986Labino Mid Century Modern OwlVintage Handmade Signed Art Glass Perfume Bottle With Stopper~italian?1991 Signed Robert Eickholt Studio Art Glass Paperweight Iridescent Black SpiralSpectacular 2 Pc Dale Chihuly Style Hand Blown Fluted Glass Bowl Set, SignedLundberg Studio Blue Green Art Glass Apple Ornament Paperweight Signed 1985Luscious Signed Higgins Glass 12.5"charger PlateHulet And Hulet Art Glass Chocolate Bunny Beautiful Antique Pink Glass Blown Vase6 Dichroic Glass Rainbow Button Bracelet Crochet Design Fused Mosaic BeadTim Jerman Flamework Blue, Green And Amber Squid- RareSteven Correia Signed Art Glass PaperweightVintage Pair Randy Strong Studio Art Glass Fishnet Wine Glasses 1985 Blue Lundberg Studio Bright Red Art Glass Apple Ornament Paperweight Signed 1985Vintage Murano Chalet Style Art Glass Heavy Signed Bowl Chalet Canada Blue Green Rick Strini Goblets Gold Iridescent Black Stems L@@k No Reserve!!Huge Perry Coyle Studio Art Glass Crystal Vase Etched Cranes Birds 14" 7 1/2" European Art Glass Vase - Beautiful Colors