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    

Orient & Flume Large Studio Art Glass Roses Floral Paperweight Vase~sillarsMid Century Modern Per Lütken Signed Holmegaard Danish Art Glass Provence BowlOiva Toikka Art Glass Bird Little Kiwi / Pikkukiwi, Iittala Nuutajärvi Finland!Craig Zweifel Tall Slender Iridescent Drape Studio Art Glass VaseOrient & Flume Large Iridescent Pulled Feather Flora Studio Art Glass VaseJosh Simpson Red New Mexico Vase 1993 Signed NumberedOrient & Flume Big Fuchsia Flower Studio Art Glass Paperweight Vase~sillarsOrient & Flume Iridescent Green Fishnet Studio Art Glass Cabinet VaseOrient And Flume Art Glass Vase, Gold Aurene, Iridescent, Perfect & No ReserveVintage Art Deco Leerdam Frosted Glass Madonna & Child Statue Stef Uiterwaal NrHand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - End Of Night - Wall Hanging Day #430Oiva Toikka Bird Snow Goose, Birds Of Passage Series Iittala NuutajärviBlue Platter Hot Hand Blown Glass Murano Sculpture Wall Platter -zac GorellA Large Micheal Nourot (r.i.p.) Studio Art Glass Platter. Signed, Dated & MintSigned Strini Jack-in-the-pulpit Vase Iridescent Orange & Cobalt Hand BlownOrient & Flume Drape Ribbon Studio Art Glass Iridescent Paperweight DishLarge 15 Inch Simon Pearce Hand Blown Glass Dish Platter10 Finished Lot Assorted Dichroic Dichro Fused Glass Cab Mosaic Pendant NecklaceHand Blown Rebecca Stewart Color Molten Glass Optical Crystal Paperweight Signed2002 Eickholt Blown Art Glass Vase Red Iridescent Silver Web Extraordinary, FineLot Of 3 Peet Robison 1994 Glass Art Frosted Tulip Flower Bud Vases Hand Blown Glass Art Platter - Bowl - Wall Hanging #431 - Blazing Fire Reds!!!Set Of 2!!! Hand Blown Glass Art Platter Bowl - End Of Night - Day #433 RainbowHiggins Art Glass Bowl Large With Engraved Mark McmHandblown Studio Art Glass Sphere Signed Peter (paedra) BramhallOrange Yellow Hot Hand Blown Glass Murano Signed Sculpture Vase -zac GorellJosh Simpson Vase Iridescent 1979 Signed NumberedOrient & Flume Pearlescent Tut Hook Rosebowl Orb Studio Art Glass VaseCorreia Art Glass 2 Iridescent Wine Glasses Hand Blown Tall Goblet Stemware 10"Vtg Annieglass Clear Round Textured Glass Plate/tray,11.25",gold Ruffle Rim,sig.Simon Pearce Martini Glass Set Of 4Vintage 90s Mackenzie Childs Decorated Glass Heirloom Floral VaseSigned Higgins Art Fused Glass Handcrafted, Pink / Red / Orange Fluted Dish NiceScripted Signed Erickson Controlled Bubble Candle VaseHand Blown Michael Sosin Pinzette Glassworks Studio Art Glass Bowl Signed NrSuperb 6 1/4" Simon Pearce Studio Art Glass Shelburne Vase Excellent ConditionLotton Studio, Jerry Heer 2010 Art Glass Vase New Annieglass Square Textured Glass Platter/tray,14.75",gold Ruffled Edge,signdSet Of 3 Mackenzie Childs Water Goblets In Circus Piccadilly Mid Century Higgins Art Glass Plate 8 1/4", Orange Handmade Mosaic Dichroic Fused Glass Pendant/cabochons Accent Tiles Diy KnobsHandcrafted Dichroic Fused Art Glasstrinket/change Dish 4" Square ~giant~hand Blown Glass Art Lidded Vase~classic Urn~days End~signed~murano,italyPepi Hermmann Crystal Vase Rare Arctic Design Signed.Glassy Baby Happiness Red Glass Candle Holder Mackenzie Childs Ltd 1997 Victoria & Richard Glass Tumbler2 Mackenzie Childs Decorated Glass Bowls Heirloom Pink Roses Globe VaseSimon Pearce 2 Tear Drop Amoeba Shaped Glass Snack Dish Signed New In BoxHandmade Mosaic Textured Dichroic Fused Glass Pendant/cabochons Accent Tiles Handmade Dichroic Triangle Fused Art Glass Pendant Cabochons Accent Tiles Hand Blown Glass Art Wall Platter Bowl Blue #5748 OneilRare Large Zimmerman Pink Floral Lidded Control Bubble Bowl Paperweight SignedSigned Art Glass Vase Brent Kee YoungSimon Pearce Led Rechargeable Battery Operated W/timerHawaiian Etched Clear Glass Bowl Flower Vase Hawaii Signed RomlerHenry Dean Large Tomato Colored Handmade Studio Art Glass Large Charger - SuperVintage,emerald Green, Hand Blown Metro Museum Of Art Patterned Glass FlaskHulet & Hulet Art Glass ChocolateRare Correia Studio Art Glass Pulled Feather Favrile Cobalt Blue Vase WowKristal Art Gold Leaf Vase Artist Signed