Hilo Glass Art Museum
The Origins And History Of Glass Blowing

The Origins And History Of Glass Blowing

All throughout ancient times glass was considered a valuable commodity to have. This was due to the amount of skill that was required to create it. Glass can be traced back to Mesopotamia times at around 3000 B.C. It is known that it used molten sand to mold it. Because of this, people visited Mediterranean countries to obtain the services of a glassmaker who had mastered the art. But, because of the process being very hard, the glass pieces made became small and were very expensive. This made it difficult for everybody to obtain it so only priests and aristocrats utilized glass. It wasn’t until 30 B.C. that glass molding was termed glass blowing. This occurred in Rome when the Romans shaped glass using a blowpipe to blow into the warm glass. This technique is still used by glass blowers today. Making it the oldest form of art creation in the world. They made glass devices like bongs and pipes which are so popular today. You can find bongs for sale in their online stores.

The art of glass blowing first began by Roman Ghirsman in Chogha Zanbil. There were glass bottles found during an excavation in the second millennium. The artifacts date back as far as 37 B.C. as evidenced from a collection found in a glass shop which had many fragments of blown bottles, glass tubes and glass rods. There location came from a ritualistic bath called a mikvah located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. These pieces are considered to be a form of primary blow pipe because of the many glass tubes that were recovered, many had fire closed ends while the opening had a distinct blown look to it as it was still inflated partially.

Glass blowing during these periods started a revolution in the development of glass which also included an advanced understanding of the process. Because of this understanding, glass was quickly introduced to the traditional glass methods which included casting and forming.

The invention of glass blowing then allowed the Roman Empire to spread this new found technology during their rule. This was capable because of the huge support by the Romans so glass was able to be blown throughout the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire’s eastern side contained a Phoenician glass shop which was the biggest in Israel and Lebanon. The province of Cyprus is where glassblowing was said to have been born. It is also evident that glassblowing of Hellenistic means came about during the 1st century A.D. This work created small oil and perfume bottles located inside glass shops in both Samothrace and Corinth, Greece. Shortly afterwards, Egypt was introduced to the art of glass blowing as evidenced by a poem which was printed on papyrus dating back to the 3rd century A.D. This is how we know that the fantastic Phoenician glass blower’s methods finally reached the western part of the Roman Empire. The mid 1st century A.D Italy was the first city introduced to glass blowing by the evidence of many objects which were glass blown. These objects included glass windows and tableware. Then, many shops began to open throughout the city and eventually spread into the northern alps, and continued to spread to many other European countries in the north.