History and Inspiration of Glassware
Many myths surround the discovery of producing glass one popular one being that a group of Phoenician sailors set up a camp on a beach for the night, built a fire with a cooking pot sat on some blocks of natron (an alkali) on the sand. The heat of the fire caused the materials to melt and combine forming a small pool of glass. This theory is probably not true but almost the same basic recipe is used today as the basis of modern glass.
Some of the oldest recorded glass is in the form of solid beads and amulets which date to 2500BC. During Pre-Roman times glassmakers were making vessels even before the invention of glassblowing. They did this by wrapping hot glass around a central core made from a mixture of clay and dung, which was then removed once the class was cool. Some of the earliest vessels date back to 1500 BC and originate from Mesopotamia and Egypt.
The Roman Empire brought a distinct development to glassmaking somewhere around 50BC with the invention of glassblowing. Blowing vessels was much more efficient than core forming so glass became much more of a household object.
The tools and techniques of glassblowing have changed very little since its origin two thousand years ago and craftsmen continuing to make glass as we do int the traditional method are keeping these ancient skills alive.
The Bath Aqua Glass Roman Range
Our range of Roman inspired glass is coloured with copper oxide to give the aqua colour which was used prolifically by the Romans and is one of the main healing minerals in Bath's spa waters. Many of our pieces are adorned with the Roman symbol of the snake as a trailing detail seen especially on the vases and jugs. The snake represents eternal health and is used to this day in the medical Hippocratic oath symbol.
The Bath Aqua Glass Georgian Range
Air twist stems are a prominant feature of our Georgian range of tableware. This style of drinking glass became popular in the mid 18th Century. These highly decorative air twist stems were achieved by pricking the glass stem during the making process to create several bubbles, and then twisting the stem as it was drawn out to form long spiral threads of air. These types of glasses were known as 'wormed' in the eighteenth century. Glassmakers particularily used this technique inorder to keep the weight of glass down as the introduction of the Glass Excise Act in 1746 imposed a tax on the materials used in making glass. At the same time, glassmakers began to produce lighter styles of glassware, which were in keeping with the curved styles of the rococo period.
Airtwist Stem Wine Glasses
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