Glass art normally means the modern glass art movement in which
individual artists working alone or with a few assistants to create works
from molten glass in relatively small furnaces of a few hundred pounds of
glass. glass art began in the early 1960s and showed continued growth through
the end of the century. The glass objects created are not primarily utilitarian
but are intended to make a sculptural or decorative statement.
On the market, glass art prices may range from a few hundred to tens of thousands
of dollars..Prior to the early 1960s, art glass would have referred to glass
made for decorative use, usually by teams of factory workers, taking glass
from furnaces with a thousand or more pounds of glass. This form of glass
art, of which Tiffany and Steuben in the U.S.A., Gallé in France and
Hoya Crystal in Japan and Kosta Boda in Sweden are perhaps the best known,
grew out of the factory system in which all glass objects were hand or mold
blown by teams of 4 or more men.
In a glass art workshop, ideally, "production work" (goblets, vases,
pitchers, art marbles etc.) shows more hand worked variation than was allowed
in pure factory work environment and each piece shows some of the lead glass
worker's creativity, the gaffer. In addition to smaller production pieces,
most glass art workers also try to turn out larger individual glass art pieces
which might be the equivalent of a master piece in the journeyman system of
guild and factory work.