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”)

Loetz.com

Loetz.com

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 Maurice Heaton Mid-century Modern Modernist Fused Studio Art Glass BowlMackenzie Childs Tall Lidded Bamford Canister Retired/rareAwesome Lundberg Studios Rainbow Aurene Vase - Pontil - Must See !!!1993 Carl Radke 15" Glass LampStuart Abelman, Cased Art Glass Vase With Fused Flower Motif. 2003Petite 3" Craig Zweifel Signed & Dated 1988 Multi-colored Art Glass VaseExquisite 10 3/4" Signed Charles Lotton Selenium Red Pink Multi Flora Vase 1999Mackenzie Childs Vintage Hand-painted Oil And Vinegar SetZellique Studio Art Glass Fish Aquarium Bookends Joseph Morel Signed/dated 1998Signed Chalet Glass Canada Magnum Lead Crystal Green Pear W/gold AccentsSigned And Numbered Orient And FlumeCarl Erickson Three Green Lily On Gold Ground Paperweight Very CocommonAntique Monart Purple & Blue W/ Gold Aventurine Art Glass Vase W/ Original LabelRollin Karg Signed Art Glass Paperweight Paper WeightVhtf 1993 Mackenzie-childs Victoria & Richard Gold Dot Painted Glass PlateMackenzie Childs Retired Glass BowlHand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - Wall Hanging #288 - American Ocean WavesFabulous Bohemian Art Deco Glass Jack Pulpit Vase Iridescent Glass Top QualityCorreia Glass Emerald Linear Vase Green Silver Striped 8 1/4"Vintage Murano Eye Glass SculptureRollin Karg Fish SculpureDecorative Glass Art Bottle Blue Flowers With Signature SatavaDecorative Glass Art Bottle With Black Stripes Signed -glass Art- Perfume-Stunning 16-5/8" Signed Rollin Karg Erotic Tongue Dichroic Art Glass Sculpture Studio Art Glass Dominick Labino Paperweight Air Bubble Vase 1969 Original UsaA Rookwood Vase, 1945, Impressed Mark, #6833 Water Lillies No Chips Or Cracks NrLarge 11.5" John Lotton Multi Flora Pink Green Vines Floral Vase 1994Early Carl Radke Iridescent Art Glass Vase Phoenix Studio Hearts & VinesBimini Art Glass Cordial Cat Stem Two Color 4”Group Lot 7 Vintage Antique Blown Glass Flowers TulipsLundberg Studios Indian Basket With Rim, Art Glass VaseHand Blown Glass Art Platter Bowl Wall Hanging Day #289 - American End Of NightStunning Orient & Flume Hawthorne Glass Vase. Iridescent. Artist Repaired RimAurene Irridescent Art Glass Vase, Hand Blown, RichardsonNourot Studio Art Glass Perfume Bottle With Turquoise Gold Black & Red Nice!Large 11" Carla Wing Studio Art Glass Vase Deeply Etched Geometric Designs3 Robert Eickholt PiecesLotton Art Glass - Hand Blown Glass Perfume Bottle #422Aurene Irridescent Art Glass Vase, Hand Blown, RichardsonMackenzie Childs William Glass Vase Rare/retiredStunning 15-5/8" Signed Rollin Karg Erotic Tongue Dichroic Art Glass Sculpture Lundberg Studios-art Glass2 Glassybaby Drinkers In Sangria NibOustanding Russian Essie Zareh Baijan Art Glass Vase Russian Millefiori Art Glass Ewer Great Colors! Applied Handle Super Condition!Rare Mackenzie Childs Glass Compote Pedestal Bowl With 1/2 Brass Rounds BallsRobert Held Hand Blown Glass Bowl #201Signed Robert Eickholt Iridescent Glass Vase - 8" TallEstate - Pair Contemporary Retro Modern Studio Art Glass Bullet Vase Weighted Hand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - Wall Hanging #291 - American Crazy LagoonSanta Barbara Art Glass - Saul Alcaraz Hand Blown Glass Christmas Ornament #429Santa Barbara Art Glass - Saul Alcaraz Hand Blown Glass Christmas Ornament #445Mackenzie Childs Striped Awning Glass Champagne?Simon Pearce Crystal Art Glass Dover Red Wine Stem - $85 NewMad Art Studios Hand Blown Glass Christmas Ornament #417Hand Blown Glass Dirwood Purple Teal Glass Vase Signed By Artist 2010Rare Retired Mackenzie Childs Cirrcus BowlHand Blown Glass Art Wall Platter Bowl Purple Gold #4863 Oneil Vintage Studio Art Glass Veiled Iridescent Apple Paperwieght Gilbert Johnson 921993 Mackenzie-childs Victoria & Richard Full Bloom Painted Glass Plate Rare