Thursday, October 16, 2008

Okay, okay...but at least I have some interesting information

I know, I've been particularly lame about posting in this blog since I started it. Truth be told, I haven't had much time or inclination for historical glasswork in the past few months. Oh, I've been periodically been thinking about things, but I've been focused on getting my business, A Hot Piece of Glass, up and running. Now that it is going, I am turning my attention back to some historical works.

For this post, I want to call your attention to two fantastic period glass resources on the web.

One of them is an online magazine called Vidimus. Vidimus means "we have seen", and it refers to the working drawing medieval artisans used to plan a window. In fact, the vidimus is still used today, although it's more often called a cartoon. It serves as a pattern for cutting and placing glass pieces to form the window. In the medieval period, windows were not made entirely by one person. There were the people who actually made the glass sheets (a glassblower), someone who designed the window and drew the vidimus, and other people who actually cut and assembled the window. The glass painters would do the detail paint work on the window before it was installed by the folks responsible for that aspect of creation.

The other fantastic resource is the CVMA, or Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi. This is an organization of twelve countries that collectively are involved in preservation and research of historical glass. The link is to the site in Great Britain, which is the one I use the most, but links to German and Italian sites of the CVMA are here. One of the benefits of the Great Britain site is that is has archived a zillion photographs of period glass, some of which are pieces that are either photographed close-up, or look as though they are scanned and then uploaded. So, you get a really good look at some really important works. The search function is indispensable for research, as you can search the picture archive by region, CVMA archive number, type, period or site. I love it. It's where I usually start when I am thinking about a new panel project.

All right, I think that is enough for now. What resources do you use, which are your favorites?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Research coolness

Being a mom of three kids, my time to spend among the stacks in the library is particularly limited, so I rely on the power of the internet to do a lot of my legwork for me. One of my most favorite sites to use for research is the Rakow Research Library at the Corning Museum of Glass. Their Ask A Librarian feature is terrific for getting bibliography on a particular subject, and most of their materials are accessible through interlibrary loan. Actually, the entire Corning Museum is a wealth of research material. They publish a wide variety of books, journals and collection catalogs, too. Aaaand, you can go to the museum in Corning, NY and try out glassblowing, fusing, lampworking, and etching. I could spend days in Corning.

Another site that is fast becoming a favorite of mine is WorldCat, which makes it possible to search libraries all over the world. A great feature of this site is that once you enter your zipcode and click on any item in your search results list, you can find out which libraries closest to you have the item you are looking for. Of course, sometimes the closest library might be the University of Stockholm in Sweden! I think I will be using this site most often to make lists of materials to obtain through interlibrary loan, but also to discover what a couple of the less-obvious institutions in my hometown have to offer on the subject of ancient and medieval glass.

While I wouldn't recommend relying completely on the internet for your glass research, you will find a wealth of images and other interesting information available out there. Much of what you find doing internet searches will give you fantastic jumping-off points for further study. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Welcome to The Medieval Glassworker


This blog and website is my attempt to pull together all of my research, notes, examples and bits and pieces of information about historical glasswork. I concentrate primarily on the period of time from about 1 AD up until the early 17th century. Huge, I know, but I have no ability to truly limit myself in time and place -- I love all glass! I'm definitely no academically-trained expert; I have my Master's degree in Speech Pathology, but I love historical glass, so if I am making mistakes in my assumptions and conclusions, or if you have sources I should read, by all means, let me know.

I plan to post periodically -- hopefully at least twice a month -- on various topics and ideas. My documentation for SCA arts and sciences activities will be posted here, as will photos of my work, and maybe even some tutorials for the things I do.

Welcome to my blog, and please, offer me comments and constructive criticism regarding my work and research!