Unique Art Glass Decor

by klurbauer

See a selection of unique and beautiful art glass decor for the home while learning more about the techniques used to create these striking pieces.

Art glass is a popular art form to use in home decor. Art glass can be found in all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes. Many pieces are strictly decorative, but others serve some purpose or function, such as art glass vases. Art glass is created through various techniques, each of which produce different visual effects. Art glass can add the perfect distinctive touch to your home or make the perfect gift for someone else.

Art Glass Basics

Definition & History of Art Glass

What Is Art Glass?

Art glass pieces are works created from glass by individual artists. Antique glass art pieces may have been created in factories, but these were usually hand-designed, not done by machine, so they maintain an individual aspect to their creation. These frequently brightly-colored pieces are most often glass-blown though other methods including sandblasting, casting and fusing glass and pattern-molding glass are also used. Prized mainly for their artistic and decorative appeal, some art glass pieces serve functional purposes as bowls, vases, lamps. Many vintage and antique art glass works originally created to be used for some purpose are now considered strictly art pieces by their owners and other artists.

Art Glass History

Art glass has been created in some form for hundreds of years. It has only been recently however, that modern art glass has grown in popularity here in the United States. Beginning in the 1960s and 1970s, art glass became increasingly popular and eventually spread to other areas around the world.

The Perfect Coffee Table Book on Art Glass

500 Glass Objects: A Celebration of Functional & Sculptural Glass (500 Series)

On display: the most magnificent collection of handmade glass creations ever assembled!Handmade glass objects are taking the craft world by storm with their great variety and be...

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Art Glass Lamps & Shades

Furnish and decorate at the same time with these functional works of art.
Dale Tiffany TT101007 Robey Table Lamp, Antique Bronze and Art Glass Shade


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Warehouse of Tiffany's T18275TGRB Dragonfly Tiffany-Style 26-Inch Table Lamp with Lighted Base

Tiffany-Style Dragonfly Lamp with Lighted Base. The primary colors are pink, green and red. It has jewels in it. The dimensions are 18''L x 26''H x 18''W. The Base Lights up. It...

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Dale Tiffany 7908/816A Blue Turtle Accent Lamp, Antique Bronze and Art Glass Shade

7908/816A Features: -Tiffany glass shade.-Base material: Metal.-On/Off socket.-Inline switch. Color/Finish: -Accent lamp.-Antique bronze finish. Specifications: -Accommodates (1...

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Art Glass Lamps & Lampshades

Functional and Artistic Pieces Solve Two Problems at the Same Time

These popular lamps and lampshades are often created in an antique style. They vary greatly in shape and color, making it easy to find just what you're looking for to accent a room or pull a particular hue into your color scheme. Dale Tiffany, a well-known manufacturer of home decor and specifically glass lamps, offers a wide selection of some of the best art glass lamps available. All Dale Tiffany lamps are individually handcrafted, so you're assured that your lamp is a one-of-a-kind piece.

Some glass lamps are especially artistic in their appearance. An example is the Dragonfly Tiffany-Style 26-Inch Table Lamp with Lighted Base, are made from hundreds of individual pieces of stained glass, making them astounding works of art. Other breathtaking lamps include those that actually show a particular image on them, such as the orange and red-colored Tiffany-style Peacock Lantern Table Lamp. Finally, you can choose a shaped glass art lamp, such as those in the shape of turtles, parrots and lady bugs.

Lamps incorporating art glass into their style are one of the best ways to add style and function to a room simultaneously. This is the perfect choice for those who would love to display some art glass pieces but don't have a lot of space to spare. For example, a small glass art table lamp can provide added lighting and artistic flair to a small room. This lets you avoid cluttering up a room by adding too much art, decor and other items.


The most popular technique for creating art glass pieces

Glassblowing is the process of heating glass and then blowing it out into the desired shape using a specially designed tube. Some of the most unusual and individualistic abstract glass art pieces are created using glassblowing. The process requires both training and significant practice to develop the proper techniques for handling the glass. A high degree of skills is absolutely essential in this process.

Glassblowing is used by more studio glass artists than any other method for creating beautiful works of art from glass. Glass blown pieces are created entirely by hand, at the whim of the artist. This allows for a wide range of shapes and features. Colors are included in several different ways to provide various effects. For example, clear glass can be rolled in colored glass powder or caneworking can be used to add strips of colored glass in specific patterns to glass art works.


Blown glass art pieces show a variety of colors, patterns and details.
Close-up of Blown Glass Bottle Bottom in Purples and Pale Blues
A Fine and Rare 'Clematis' Leaded Glass, Blown Glass and Bronze Table Lamp
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Stained Glass

Another popular method for creating modern art glass

Stained glass often brings to mind church windows, but stained glass has become a popular type of art glass for the home as well. Stained glass pieces may be hung in windows, sidelights or created to fit specific windows of the home. Stained glass varies in its art, from those pieces showing realistic pictures to abstract works.

Highly detailed, large pieces or those with particularly difficult elements to them require the work of a highly skilled stained glass maker. However, many people enjoy trying their hand at this art form by enrolling in stained glass making classes at local shops or community colleges. Amateur stained glass artists can make quite beautiful work with a little training and practice. Moreover, many people greatly enjoy both the process and the fact that they can use their finished pieces to decorate their own home or give away as gifts to friends and family members. Still others find that they can make a respectable part-time income selling stained glass pieces, though limited access to necessary and expensive machinery keeps most people from considering this as a business venture.

Stained Glass Art Pieces

Some of these intricately designed items display wonderful detail work.

Functional Art Glass

Art glass pieces that serve double duty appeal to many people

Though many pieces of breathtaking art glass exist, only some of those are actually functional, serving some other purpose in addition to being viable artistic pieces. Examples abound and include perfume bottles, ashtrays, glassware, vases, paperweights and ring holders. Antique and vintage pieces, originally intended to be used for everyday purposes, have now become pieces of art in their own right. Many people purchase such items and display them only as art. However, there is nothing that says you must not use these in their original intended manner, and a growing number of people are coming to understand the benefits of these items as they beautify the home and provide usefulness. Some of the best pieces are actually the smallest, as they add a sense of beauty without becoming the centerpiece of a room.

Small Art Glass Pieces

Some of the smallest functional glass art works actually enhance an area better than their larger counterparts.

Famous Artists

Who Creates Art Glass Works?

Hundreds of people have tried their hands at creating beautiful art glass, but there are of course, a select handful who are known for being masters at their art. Painters often excel in this type of art, as is evident by those such as Louis Comfort Tiffany. Dale Chihuly, one of the members of the first-ever glass program at the University of Wisconsin, is very popular for his series of works spanning a time period from the '70s through present day with his current series, Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Center in 2012. Other well-known art glass artists include Richard Marquis, Ginny Ruffner and William Gudenrath who creates Venetian-type pieces without the aid of any assistants. However, one of the best elements of glass art is the ability of amateurs and other up-and-coming artists to create stunning visual effects in their pieces, so don't hold yourself back by considering only pieces from these fine artists. Explore the world of glass art and you're sure to find a piece just calling to you, regardless of the artist's name.

Updated: 10/20/2012, klurbauer
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klurbauer on 10/21/2012

Yes, some of them are just gorgeous, aren't they? Thanks for reading!

katiem2 on 10/21/2012

What stunning glass pieces, love the color and movement. :)K

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