Rabu, 25 Juli 2012

Art Deco Glass - What Should I Look for? The Unique Colors, Shapes, Textures, and Artistic Elements

In Parts I and II of "Art Deco Pottery -- A User's Guide to Types and Style", I introduced the 3 different types of pottery and what aesthetic effects to expect when searching for your new favorite art deco piece.

I'd now like to focus on another favorite medium of art deco vases, GLASS. Here's what to search for when shopping:


    Ambers, Topaz, Blues, Greens (earthy colors). Red, or "Ruby" glass shows up often. Cobalt blue glass is the most sought-after. I've seen a lot of "smoked glass" as well -- a really nice effect!


    Like with art deco pottery, glass vases include geometric, angular, uniform, mathematical, graduated, and concentric designs. I always think of modern and simple, not over-designed. In other words, each art deco vase contains only one or two artistic themes that are repeated or reflected throughout the piece, and these themes never conflict -- only compliment each other.
    Polished and smoother, high gloss glass is the most popular. However, "crackled" glass looks to be a desired texture as well (see more info below).


    Molded Glass -- artisans take fired glass (in its liquid or gel-like state) and mold it using special glassmaking tools, by blowing the glass to create shape, and then place the molded glass in water for cooling and setting. With different levels and sources of heat, several pieces can be fused together, creating patterns and textures. Some art deco artisans even "pinched" glass to make interior ridges.
    Acid Etching -- a process used by famous makers such as Lalique, Tiffany, and Daum (among others). Acid etching involves introducing a particular type of acid to a surface (metal, glass, etc) to cause a "reaction". This reaction affects everything it touches, so artists usually covered the parts they wanted to remain in the original color with a wax pattern. This creates different color and texture effects and leaves a design on the surface of the material.
    Glass "Crackling" -- an effect created by heating and reheating glass, then rolling it in small chunks of "fritted glass" and finally immersing the entire piece in water to cool. When completed, the vase appears to have thousands of tiny cracks, almost like a cobweb.

Art deco vases accentuate a smart, clean, modern decor and bring life to spaces large and small. Whether glass or pottery, metal or gold (yes, gold!), the individuality of each vase keeps my search going strong. I'm excited to continue my exploration!

I'd love to hear about and see your latest finds. Feel free to share!

I look forward to sharing my next post with you, when we'll learn how to clean these wonderful works of art without damaging or scratching your prized piece.

Diva Fiore, a budding opera singer from Texas, discovered a special affinity for all things Art Deco -- and specifically, Art Deco Vases -- after acquiring a beautiful glass vase from her beloved grandmother. Diva Fiore aims to explore the drama and significance of these artisan pieces as she begins to expand her own personal collection, and invites you to share in the stories and the search!

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