In the late 1920s, when Tiffany & Co. decided to discontinue their line of art glass and Steuben Glass was sold to Corning Glass, the ability to make prized, luminous, hand-blown Luster Glass was lost. The process had been so secretive and segmented that no one person knew how to do everything to make a finished lustrous piece, except for Fredrick Carder.
Tiffany founded his first glassmaking firm in 1892, which he called the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company. The factory, Tiffany Furnaces, was located in Corona, Queens, New York and managed by the skilled English immigrant Arthur J. Nash. It was here that Tiffany established his unique method of glassmaking: treating molten glass with metallic oxides that absorbed into the glass and created a luxurious iridescent surface effect.
Tiffany patented Favrile glass in 1892. Favrile glass often has a distinctive characteristic that is common in some glass from Classical antiquity: it possesses a superficial iridescence. This iridescence causes the surface to shimmer, but also causes a degree of opacity.
Tiffany received the patent for Favrile glass in 1894. The first Favrile objects were made in 1896.
In 1865, Tiffany traveled to Europe, and in London he visited The South Kensington Museum, later renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, whose extensive collection of Roman and Syrian glass made a deep impression on him. He admired the coloration of medieval glass and was convinced that the quality of contemporary glass could be improved upon.
At the 1900 Paris Exposition, Favrile glass won the grand prize in the exposition.
Then there was Frederick Carder....
Frederick Carder began his glassmaking career with Stevens & Williams in 1881, where he helped re-introduce colored glass. While at Stevens & Williams, Carder worked with Peter Fabergé of Russia. In 1902, Carder was asked to compile a survey of current glassmaking techniques in other countries, including the United States.
After 20 years of glass design and glassmaking experience, disagreements developed within Stevens & Williams. As a result, Carder and his family emigrated to the United States.
Frederick Carder and Thomas J. Hawkes (of Hawkes crystal) co-founded the Steuben Glass Works in Corning, NY, the home of Corning Glass Company (also known as Corning Glass Works). Carder ran Steuben Glass Works from 1903 until 1932.
In 1918, Corning Glass purchased Steuben Glass Works, with Frederick Carder continuing to manage all aspects of the business. 1932, the advent of the Great Depression had a negative impact on business at Steuben. Corning Glass terminated the production of colored glass and took over the direction of the Steuben division, Carder was made artistic director for all Corning divisions.
When Steuben's success at producing blanks for Hawkes became assured, Carder began to experiment with colored glass and continued experiments that were started in England. He soon perfected Gold Aurene which was similar to iridescent art glass that was being produced by Tiffany and others. Gold Aurene was followed by a wide range of colored art glass that eventually was produced in more than 7,000 shapes and 140 colors.
Since 1974 The method of making Luster glass has been rediscovered by Master glass blower, Rick Strini, who works from his private studio in Hawaii , creating beautiful, handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces every year.
A walk through Strini’s gallery is mesmerizing as his Luster glass pieces shimmer in the light, reflecting new patterns and paths adding to the art’s uniqueness. Fluid, elegant silhouettes and vibrant translucent colors combine with iridescent copper and gold. Delicate classic designs are appliquéd on artful vessels that are magically one color inside and another on the outside. GO BACK