History of Glass Blowing

Geo Beats

by Geo Beats

History of Glass Blowing - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. My name is Sean Clarke. I am the owner of Diablo and I also am a teacher. The first glass was found 4,000 years ago in the Middle East, where Lebanon and Palestine and Israel and is now. So, the first glass makers are thought to have come from the Egyptian, Persia, Middle Eastern area. Then, as the Romans conquered the world, they found glass and they brought glass back to Italy. And then for the next 2,000 years or 1,500 years glass was almost solely the purvey of the Italians. Hence the island of Murano an Venice was the center of the glass world for over 1,000 years. It was all around Italy for a period of time, and then they moved it to this island. There are two theories on that, that there is a lot of fire that has been caused by the glass studios. And the second theory, which is probably more likely, glass became very valuable. It was very unique, and the Romans did not want other nations stealing it, other people stealing the concepts and ideas. So, they moved it onto the island of Murano where it was isolated. That is where all the masters grew up, the great glass masters, and they passed on their knowledge from father to son, to son, to son. So, a lot of the great glass masters, their fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers before them were glass artists. The knowledge of how to make glass was kept quite secret. People were not allowed to go and watch them make glass, to learn their secrets and carry them off. And even today, if you go to Murano, they would make horses for you and little practice things that glass stores do, but they will not let you into the studios and watch them making their glass, because at the time the thing that is valuable in glass was very, very, very unique. And only the very, very wealthy would have had glass in their houses. But in the 16th century, glass started to be found in Germany. So, it had migrated from Italy to Germany. Then it spread throughout Northern Europe, and Swedish Glass Co. is very famous. Glass Co.’s in France, Czechoslovakia, etc. But it was focused around the Roman Empire finding glass. They brought it and started to blow glass, and they perfected the manufacture and making of glass. Then it spread throughout the world from there.