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    

1979 Warren Hooper Vintage Windswept Tree Glass Sculpture On Drift Wood Base YqzVintage 1975 Signed M Cantor Lundberg Dichroic Iridescent Art Glass Flower VaseSigned Mt St Helens Iridescent Pulled Feather Studio Hand Blown Art Glass VaseLundberg Iridescent Red Jack In The Pulpit Studio Nouveau Art Glass Jip VaseHuge Mid Century Snd Higgins Art Glass Mod Green Peacock Plate Platter ChargerSigned Eickholt Studio Art Glass Vase_2007_iridescent Purple/green_8.5" TallBeautiful 1984 Robert Eickholt Iridescent Pulled Feather Art Glass VaseSigned Mystery Artist Amethyst Purple Emerald Green Studio Blown Art Glass Vase Glassybaby Cashmere? Light Blue Candle Holder 3.5" Hand Blown Seattle (madrona)Vtg Studio Hand Blown Iridescent Pulled Feather Art Glass Perfume Scent BottleVintage Michael & Frances Higgins Fused Glass Rondelay Mid Century Mod Eames EraHand Blown Don Richardson Art Glass Iridescent Vase Pacifica Ca 1991Vtg Signed Correia Black Deco Border Acid Etched Cameo Studio Art Glass Vase LpbMark Peiser Miniature Art Glass Vase Set Of 2!!! Hand Blown Glass Art Platter - Wall Hanging #492 Ocean Waves FillerMid Century Pair Of Higgins Fused Art Glass Ashtrays, Flowers, Blue-green DishStriking Large Authentic Murano Glass Caledonia Turtle Sculpture Dino Rosin MintJames P. Clarke Sculptural Art Glass Perfume Bottle Artist Signed Studio 1992Lovely Tiffany Style Blue Aurene Vase Signed Elaine Hyde Glassybaby "lucky" Hand Blown Glass, Candle Holder VotiveRare 1st Year Orient & Flume Boyd & Ballentine Hand Blown Glass Vase 1972 Bb12 Hand Blown Glass Flowers - Yellow, Red, White, Multi Colored 16" Green Stems2 X Amethyst Purple Clear Mid Century Modern Studio Blown Art Glass Wine GobletsVintage Iridescent Metallic Frosted Blown Art Glass Candle Stick Holder Pair YqzFredreck Carder Stuben Verr De Soi “glass Silk” Jardiniere With Polished PontilSet Of 6 Simon Pearce Water Or Highball Hand Blown 12 Oz Glasses Signed 4 MintRollin Karg Fish SculptureVintage Art Glass Studio Paperweight Celestial Dichoric Supernova Signed BeautyRobert Held Art Glass Vase Iridescent Pulled FeatherStriking Large Authentic Murano Glass Caledonia Turtle Sculpture Dino Rosin MintWonderful Large Carl Radke 12"tall VaseHand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - Wall Hanging #490 Huge!!!! Ocean WavesGlassybaby Forever Blue Candle Holder 3.5" Hand Blown Seattle (madrona)Glassybaby Angel White Candle Holder 3.5" Hand Blown Seattle (madrona)Lot Of 2 Peggy Karr Fused Art Glass 11" Inch Plates Gardening Geranium W/ Boxes Lrg Vtg Mid Century Italy Murano Art Glass Silver Flake Confetti Vase SculptureBig! Mid Century Snd Higgins Art Glass White Peacock Bowl Mod Gold Spiral DesignJosh Simpson Art Glass Marble 2002 Inhabited Planet Borosilicate 1 7/8 In 47mmArt Nouveau Studio Art Glass Blue Aurene Vase W/millefioriGlassybaby Sunshine Bright Solid Yellow Candle Holder 3.5" Hand Blown In SeattleRed Iridescent Art Glass Vase Signed Elaine Hyde Correia Art Glass Elite Cobalt Blue Perfume Bottle Limited Ed Signed Mini CoaMichael Weems Special Collection Pair Of Champagne Flutes. Signed And Dated 2007Blown Glass Pumpkin 2008 Gold/harvest Original Rosetree Studios United States2 Mackenzie Childs Water Goblets/glasses - Circus Pattern - 1983 StickerNew Hand Blown Monster Shot Glass Flameworked Art By Mazet Freaky Eye And TeethCanadian Cassagrande Glass Studio Brutalist Spiked Volcanic Glass Mask SculptureSet Of 3 Fabulous Maslach Art Glass Hand Blown Wine Glasses With Tag3 Hand Blown Murano Style Art Glass Flowers Long Stems 19" BeautifulVintage Amethyst Art Glass Hand Blown Three Handled Hanging Planter Vase 8" YqzMurano Glass Aphrodite Sculpture Rosin Italian Art Signed Torso Vintage Studio Art Glass Vase Pulled Feather Jack In Pulpit 16" S Abelman 1984 Signed "skookum" Aqua Blue Art Glass Vase ~ Early Robert Held VasePeggy Karr Studio Glass Art Rectangle Halloween Pumpkin-ghost Plate 9-3/4"Studio Art Iridescent Glass Vase Dichroic Teal Blue Pontil Mark Artisan Crafted2pcs - Simon Pearce Small Champlain Bowls "s" 4516 Tear Shape Art GlassVery Beautiful Lundberg Tall Bud Glass VaseVintage 1989 Signed Art Glass Studio Paperweight By Rusu Cobalt Flowers Gorgeous6 Sets Dichroic Glass Necklace Pendant Earring 925 Sterling Silver Chain 18"Signed Simon Pearce Glass Horse Figure