Updating the "Glass and Ceramic Art Works” section
On 19 November, glass industry workers in Russia celebrate their professional holiday. The outstanding Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-1765), the creator of chemical production of glass, glaze and porcelain, was born on this day. Lomonosov invented chemical production of glazes, glass and porcelain; he developed the technology and recipe for coloured glass - smalt (pieces of homogeneous opaque mixture of glass and metal oxides), which he used to create mosaic paintings. He also developed the composition of the porcelain mass.
The history of glass began in Egypt around six thousand years ago. Ancient glassblowers melted glass over open hearths in clay bowls. The fused pieces were thrown into water, where they cracked, then they were ground to dust with millstones and melted again. Sand, chalkstone and alkali, either organic (plant ash) or inorganic (sodium carbonate) were used as starting materials for making glass. Smelter slags consisting of copper, cobalt and manganese compounds were used as colouring agents.
In our country, the first examples of glass jewellery and utensils date back to the 11th century. The first glassworks were built in 1635 near Moscow, and there were already six such factories in the 18th century.
Despite such an ancient history, glass production became widespread only in the late 19th century thanks to the invention of the Martin-Siemens* furnace and developing of the industrial method of sodium carbonate production.
To celebrate the professional holiday of glassmakers and art glass manufacturers, we have updated the section of the website "Glass and Ceramic Art Works".
On the occasion of glass and ceramic workers items professional holiday, we have prepared an overview article on the basic technology of artistic glass production.
* The process is named after the inventors w that developed it. Pierre Martin and Carl Wilhelm Siemens. It was patented in 1856.