Living and Decorating with Art Glass Living and Decorating with Art Glass

There's something irresistible about art glass. The richness of color combined with elegant and often opulent shapes make for stunning accents that also serve necessary functions. From drinking vessels to table centerpieces, there is a vast array of art glass that may provide any home with signature style and unsurpassed elegance.

The most collectible type of art glass seems to have been created between 1880 and 1900, roughly corresponding to the Art Nouveau period. Of course, glass had been used and collected for centuries - most notably, the glassmakers of Venice had created the filigreed glassworks so appreciated by Europe's aristocratic classes. And even into the twentieth century, Depression and carnival glass are popularly sought for glass collections today.

From Victorian glass to contemporary artisan blown glass items, there are some popular styles collectors may want to know about. For instance, amberina is a remarkably lovely glass containing a gold-red coloration. A single piece might build from a ruby-red base to a shimmering amber rim. Consider displaying various amberina pieces for the holidays. Coral glass with its red to yellow coloration is often confused with amberina, but is certainly as lovely with its festive look.

Frosted glass displays a milky, matte color finish achieved by a spray of acid and fluoride. In pale colors, this is the perfect glass for a spring table. Similarly, milk glass, also referred to as opal glass, comes in cream or ivory color mimicking the look of porcelain. Milk glass, being neutrally colored, is a handsome style for nearly any décor. Satin glass is related to milk glass but boasts other colors.

Other noteworthy types of art glass include: cameo (sports raised cameo designs), etched glass (various images are routed to form etchings), craquelle glass, threaded glass (strands of clear of color lines decorate the glass), millefiori (the characteristic "thousand flower" designs), aventurine (containing particles of copper or chrome), enameled glass, lava glass, stained glass, Vaseline glass, Hobnail, Carnival Glass, Depression glass, crystal, and more.

In terms of decoration, a single type of glass may be showcased or various types of glass blended together for an eclectic mix. When going for a mixed look, you may want to sort pieces by color, shape, etched patterns, cut glass, frosted or other defining textures or features. European and American glass types may work well together, but consider introducing a piece or two of Oriental glass for an interesting change of pace.

As for the types of glass items to choose, there is a wide array. You will find glass objects such as: wineglasses, goblets, perfume bottles, paper weights, vases, bowls, candy dishes, candle holders, pitchers, ashtrays, cake plates, decanters, dinner plates, cups, tumblers and so much more.

Because art glass is used to make many types of items, it can be featured throughout the house. Obvious areas naturally include the kitchen and formal dining room, but even living rooms and bedrooms may feature various pieces. Like any collectible, you want to showcase these items with care. Rare pieces may even be kept behind glass and seldom used but for special occasions. However, glass is useful as it is collectible, and part of the charm of glass is to use it - somehow a beverage tastes better when sipped through amberina, for example.

Art glass can be displayed in curio cabinets, on bookshelves and even on tables. A yellow and orange swirled carnival glass vase sporting an arrangement of orange or gold chrysanthemums makes for an enchanting fall centerpiece for any table. A small crystal basket vase might be softened with a bunch of garden wildflowers. Even a simple red glass candy bowl filled with red and white peppermints becomes an attractive glass feature for the living room.

Art glass, because of its beauty and function, has been popular with collectors for decades. Consider adding some glass to your own décor in any appealing style suited to your style of décor.

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