Glass art is commonly used to refer to artwork which is often large and is more modern. Basically, they are called glass art because they are substantially or wholly made using glass and its related medium. Glass art is very much different from the likes of ‘studio glass’ or ‘art glass’ where they are both artwork which are smaller and usually come in a series form. Glass art can be divided to a few types where glass panels are usually the ones which are individually commissioned and are, one-off artworks.
Glass panels can be seen in many public places where they are made from large panels and are placed within the interior environment. This is one of the popular and decorative art work which are seen in restaurants, hotels, clubs and places where they want to exude a classy and luxurious environment. In glass panels, artists are usually asked or commissioned to work on them as a project and they will usually incorporate techniques like frosting, acid-etching, gliding, engraving and wheel carving, among others. Additional methods like silk-screening and masking are also known to be adopted by artists in this art form.
Apart from that, there has also been artists who have used glass art in their installation work which is typically installation that involves many sections using glass. One such installation was the ‘La Cascade’ by Steve Tobin which was made using glass capillary tubes and measured at 20x20x80 feet and exhibited at the L’Espace Duchamp Villon in France. Another popular glass art installation is Warren Carther’s ‘Chronos Trilogy’ which was made up of 3 large sculptures located in Hong Kong’s Lincoln House. A more recent glass art installation was by Paul Housberg entitled ‘Noel Judicial Complex Project’ which was inspired by waters and wetlands.
Glass sculptures are another common element of this art form where they are naturally sculptures made from glass. These sculptures are usually one-off projects like the 1960 ‘Object’ sculpture by Rene Roubicek and Stanislav Brychta’s Lampwork figures. The use of glass in art is considered to be a very challenging task as not many artists are well versed with the manipulation of this medium. While it is might be easier to manoeuvre the likes of wood and metal where one need to learn carpentry and welding, glass is more difficult as it would involve other skill sets. Hence, several artists tend to use glass to be a display medium where they are used to create a filter like blurring or translucent effect rather than using it as an art form.
On the other hand, only artists who have been able to create sculptures with glass are seen and regarded as serious glass artists. This art form however still has a long way to go before they are taken seriously in the art scene was it is still very much a novelty and hobbyist area. One can see glass artists demonstrating their skills and such in public places very much like the sidewalk artists.