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 1976 Art Glass Blown Peacock Feathers Vase SignedVape Lot Vamo V5, Vision Spinner Ii, Hades Clone, Halo, Aspire Nautilus & MoreEickholt 1993 Feather Pull Art Glass VaseCathy Richardson Feather Star Parrot Fish Art Glass Marble Paperweight 3"~stunning ~ Large Hand Blown Glass Art Bowl~signed By The Artist~like ChihulyIridescent American Glass Vase By David Salazar/ California-art Nouveau-lundbergDiscontinued Rare Mackenzie Childs Hand Painted Glass Tumbler Set Of 4Studio Art Glass Luster Iridescent Vase, Signed 97Fine Rick Satava Art Glass Sculpture Perfume Bottle Artist Signed - No Reserve!Vintage 1983 Bruce Freund Iridescent Purple Studio Art Glass VaseStuart Abelman Art Glass Vase 10 1/2 " Tall .2001Vintage Higgins Rectangular Glass Bowl / TrayMackenzie-childs Carafe And Glass Set - Very UnusualEickholt Vase Bowl Studio Designer Art Glass 8"Lundberg Studios Art Glass Vase 5" Tall Signed And Dated 1996Quezal Signed Pulled Feather Irredescent Art Glass ShadeHand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - Wall Hanging #414 - Wild And Vivid PatternGlen Lukens - Studio, Slump Glass Molded Plate2 Simon Pearce Signed Champagne Flutes GlassesHand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - Wall Hanging #413 - Ocean Waves PatternVtg Studio Cased White Striped Mid Century Modern Mcm Hand Blown Art Glass Vase Lundberg Studios Perfume Bottle Salazr And LundbergDated 1964 Kent Ipsen Glass Harvey Littleton's First Student Class ScarceVintage Lindsay Art Glass Cobalt Blue Bowl On Pedestal - Signed & DatedTurquoise & White With Black Hanging Hearts Blown Egg By Mark FentonVintage Signed Higgins Art Glass Bowl ~mid-century Modern~ GreenAlmaric Walter Nancy Pates De Verre Art Nouveau Thistle Glass Tray DishAlmaric Walter Nancy? Pates De Verre Art Nouveau Thistle Glass Tray DishBlue Eickholt Vase Bowl Studio Designer Art Glass 7"Cathy Richardson Starfish / Tidal Pool Art Glass Marble Paperweight Studio Seguso Arte Vetro -- Colorful Circle Encased In Clear CircleSusan Point Art Glass Spindle Whorl "flight" C.1994Lundberg Studios Art Glass Pendant Sterling Silver Flower & Star DesignHandblown Art Glass Bouquet Flowers (11) 19" (1) 16" 12 Rose Lily Tulip Stem LotCranberry Opalescent Blown Egg By Mark FentonJosh Simpson Art Glass Marble / Ball Collectable Mackenzie Childs GlassWonderful Art Glass Orange With Green Stem Mini Pumpkin By John Fenton Terry Crider Apricot Ivory Peach Iridescent Art Glass Squat Vase Toothpick PinkVintage 1980 Terry Crider Red Iridescent Art Glass Gooseneck Vase 9" Tall 110.5" Vint Hans Godo Frabel Signed "gf" Real Wood Base Missing One Leaf As IsPink & White With Black Hanging Hearts Blown Egg By Mark Fenton3 Vtg Mid Century Retro Art Glass Vase Pitchers Viking Blenko Pilgrim RainbowWonderful Art Glass Pumpkin By John Fenton Blue And Yellow Frit With Blue Stem!Amazing Signed Steve Willis Guinea Art Glass Marble .. 11/16" (.684") .. #0418j1976 Orient & Flume Blue Iridesent Vase With Flowers With Label No ReserveHand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - Wall Hanging #416 - Ocean Waves Huge!!!!!!Modern Moser Glass Lantern Shaped Heavy Glass Vase Red, Clear, Blue & Yellow2 Yellow With Multi Colored Swirls Wine Glasses Hand Made By John Fenton3 Princess House Pets, 24% Lead Crystal From Germany - Deer, Horse, BearLarge Art Glass Vase / 15 3/4" Tall X 13" Wide , 10.5 PoundsCorreia Rose-amethyst Art Glass Perfume Bottle Signed & Dated 1982Antique Art Glass Vase Threaded DesignVintage 1981 Terry Crider Irridescent Copper Color Art Glass Vase 6" Tall 82 Crystal With Multi Colored Swirls Wine Glasses Hand Made By John FentonPeggy Karr Glass "holidays Birds" Xmas Cardinals Pine Cones, Rectangular PlatterIsle Of Wight Art Glass Bud Vase Gold Flecks In Black Amethyst GlassVintage 1979 Terry Crider Blue Tulip Art Glass Vase 6" Tall Signed 2New 14" Hand Blown Glass Murano Art Style Bowl Amber Black Handkerchief RuffleDesigner Andrew Shea Hand Blown Perfume Bottle