5.22.2013

Glass from Past Lives..


Of all the technological achievements of civilization, perhaps none so delights the senses as glass. For thousands of years, glass has been used to create jewelry, works of art, and functional objects of great beauty. In the Bible, the value of glass is equated with that of gold and silver, and it was indeed treated by the ancients as a precious substance. The origins of glass are lost in the mists of time, but it most probably was invented by the Egyptians in the 4th millennium B.C. The Roman naturalist Pliny attributes the discovery of glassmaking to the Phoenicians, and the cities of the Levant were famous as centers for the glass trade. The earliest glass was opaque, colored in a variety of rich hues that often imitated gems like lapis and emerald. The Egyptians used it extensively in jewelry and made little distinction between the genuine and the artificial gems. The art of glassblowing and the development of transparent glass both date to the Roman period. From centers like Tyre and Alexandria, glass vessels were exported throughout the empire and as far east as Persia and China. The Romans colored their glass in myriad shades, favoring blue, green and yellow, as well as clear. One of the most fascinating properties of glass is that, through oxidization, it acquires a rich iridescent patina with age.   
- (FJ.7297)....                                       

  Taken from http://www.antiques.com 

Such interesting material is this glass.  We found some here in Israel from just this period that is written about above, one day last week. 

We made a trip to Caesarea to view the ruins there and have lunch..it is undeniably one of the most beautiful places on this earth. But I think ruins always are..

The aquaducts shown below


There was an antiquities shop nearby and I was very excited to see that the owner had several pieces of pottery as well as beads from the Byzantine period. 



That was amazing of course, but the really exciting thing to me was a few broken pieces of pottery and Phoenician glass shards that he had. I bought three broken shards that had once been the lip of a bowl in the 1st century [Roman period] They are soft turquoise with a sheen present in Roman glass that is unlike anything you see in this day, even in dichroic glass. [you need to click on the photos to see proper detail] They have a tiny channel where the glass was rolled over to form the lip which will accomodate stringing material.

I have visions of cutting and sanding and suspending as a focal piece.. The shop owner warned me that this does not behave like 'normal' glass, so we shall see what that means when I try to cut.

No comments: