Yet the most recently recognized media by the fine
art market is not Lucite, it's Glass. Glass has been used to
fashion beautiful items for centuries, but not until the very
recent work of one man, Dale Chahuly, did glass rise to
prominence within fine art circles. Dale Chahuly proved
detail and soulful brilliance could be brought to light through
glass and qualify it as a fine art media.
Glass as a general rule is a huge challenge to work
with. It lends itself to less detail than bronze or acrylic while
at the same time has a much higher melting
temperature than acrylic but a much lower melting
temperature than bronze. In order to sculpt glass a
powerful blast furnace known as a Glory Hole must be
used. The Glory Hole keeps the glass hot enough for the
artist to work while fusing elements and color into the glass.
Often, an artist will have assistants with blowtorches to help
with intricate details of a particular area or to keep the glass
from cooling to fast and cracking. And as many glass artists
will tell you, "the difference between blowing a glass
goblet or glass dinnerware to creating glass
sculpture is like the difference between walking
across the Grand Canyon or flying over it."
The most legendary glassworks come from Murano,
Italy and later on in this tour we'll take a quick trip to
Murano and visit the local glass hot shops on this little
island, just off the coast of Venice.