On a recent visit to the Getty Villa Museum I had the pleasure of seeing some beautiful fused glass that was created centuries ago! It was an eye-opening discovery.
I learned that more than 3,500 years ago, ancient Egyptians learned how to combine silica, some fluxes, and various other metallic oxides in furnaces, heated to over 2,500 degrees to create molten glass of many colors. Soon, fine artisans started to create colorful beads, bottles, castings, bowls, and intricate jars and jewelry.
The art for them spread and evolved. Egyptian, Islamic, and, later, Roman artists used many techniques and temperature points to form diverse and beautiful objects.
Many of these techniques are still used today in our studio and in studios around the world where glass blowing, glass casting, core forming, and finally, fused glasses created. Although the outcome is the same, the technology has improved.
Today we are fortunate to use advanced technology and programmable electric kilns to ensure results are a bit more predictable than in ancient times.