Studio glass normally means the modern studio glass 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. studio glass 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, studio glass s 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 studio glass, 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 studio glass 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 studio glass workers also try to turn out larger individual Art
glass pieces which might be the equivalent of a master piece in the journeyman
system of guild and factory work.