There is nothing more beautiful that a figurine, ornament, or other object made of glass. Glass has held a special place in societies around the world for well over 2000 years, and the creativity that can go into making glass artwork has no boundaries. Glass is used to make a variety of items that make great Christmas hamper such as figurines, sculptures, ornaments, glasses, and vases.
Glass making for artistic purposes can be traced back to ancient Egyptian times, but really came into its own during the Roman times. Glass has been recognized as an excellent median for artwork due to its beauty and versatility, which is why it continues to be very popular today.
Glass artwork can be created using a variety of approaches, a few of which are the following.
1. Stained glass is glass that has been colored by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. Although stained glass is best known for it's use in creating beautiful church window panes, modern stained glass artwork often use it in creating multi-dimensional structures and sculpture.
2. Fused glass is glass that has been heat-processed in a kiln at a range of high temperatures from 593º C (1100ºF) to 816º C (1500ºF). Fused glass, which consists mainly of silica, is believed to have been created by the Egyptians around 2000 BC. Fusing was the primary method of making small glass objects for approximately 2,000 years, until the development of glassblowing. Fusing became popular again, particularly in the United States, where "studio fusing" became common.
3. Glassblowing is a technique that involves inflating the molten glass into a bubble with the aid of a "blowpipe" or "tube." This technique operates by glass inflation which refers to the expansion of a molten blob of glass by introducing a small amount of air to it. A full range of glassblowing techniques have been developed with the two primary methods being free-blowing and mold-blowing.
4. Glass casting is the process by which cast glass objects are produced by allowing molten glass to solidify in a mold. This technique has been used since the Egyptian period. Modern cast glass is formed primarily by two processes -- sand casting or kiln casting.
All of these Christmas gifts online methods have been used over time to make fine artwork. When you are putting together your shopping list for loved ones, friends, and co-workers, consider something made of glass which has a unique beauty and versatility unmatched by other materials.
Steve Watson creates informational materials about a wide variety of subjects. He also owns a home health agency in Tallahassee, Florida that helps senior citizens remain independent and in their own homes. Check out Steve's main website at http://www.keepseniorsactive.com
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