Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Love Affair with Roman Glass

I don't recall how or when it happened, but the very first time I put my eyes on a piece of jewelry made with this amazing glass, it was love at first sight. Perhaps it was at the Boston gift show where I visited the booth of some amazing Israeli jewelry designers who had incorporated Roman glass into their designs. I think it is the colors of the glass and its iridescent qualities that I find so appealing.

Here is a little information about this ancient glass:

The earliest man-made glass was first produced over 2000 years before the Roman Empire. Core formed and cast glass was produced, although in small quantities in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It was often made to imitate semi-precious stones like lapis lazuli and turquoise.
Glass vessels were initially available only to the very wealthy and only in rather diminutive sizes. They were manufactured by core forming, casting, cutting and grinding, The invention of glass blowing around 50 BC brought glass vessels to the general public in vast numbers, mass produced in great variety of forms and hence brought ancient glass into the reach of the modern collector of even modest means. One can nowadays own a Roman glass bowl, or drink form a Roman glass beaker, or wear ancient jewellery where glass was used widely.

Recently I was able to purchase some lovely Roman glass beads and design a few new pieces with these ancient beads. Stay tuned for more photos of my new jewelry pieces.