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Wisely, the curators have chosen to arrange the works primarily by these techniques rather than by region or chronology, with several sections devoted to specific themes such as Islamic glass found in archaeological sites, and European works imitating or inspired by Islamic glass.
With equal acumen, the objects are widely-spaced, and displayed in well-lit cases on lustrous fabrics of neutral colors, thereby encouraging the refraction and play of light which is necessary to catch the true beauty of any glasswork.
Text in this section outlined some of the problems related to the study of excavated glass, including the wide distribution of glassworks as luxury goods in trade, as well as the shipping of discards to be melted down and reused.
This ancient recycling system prohibits researchers from determining the provenienc The next section is devoted to objects made by the most basic technique, glassblowing.
Also in this introductory area is a display of the tools used to manufacture glass, including two of the only dip-molds to survive from the medieval Islamic world.
A video is most helpful here in demonstrating some of the basic glassmaking techniques to those who have never before observed them.
These slices are then arranged around a mold and heated so they fuse together.Using silver or copper-containing pigments glassware was painted and then fired until the designs were permanently fixed.It is with the opulent and vibrant enamel and gilded glass, however, that we see the true artistry applied to glassworks in the Islamic world (fig. Great skill was required to make these pieces, which required applying gold and/or enamels (powdered opaque glass) to a glass surface using an oil-based medium and a brush or reed pen, and then firing to a regulated temperature that would permanently fix the substances-each with its own melting point--to the vessel.Often referred to as 'millefiori' (thousand flowers, in Italian) for the resultant colorful pattern (fig.4; #62), mosaic glass was especially pofeatures “cameo glass” created by encasing light green glass over colorless glass in a Roman-inspired design of stylized animals (fig. A rare and challenging technique particularly popular in Egypt and Syria in the 7th-9th century was stained, or luster-painted, glass.
As an archaeologist, I much appreciated a small section focusing on glass obtained from the scientific excavation of Islamic sites.