Humans have been artists since the very beginning. Cave paintings and ancient pottery are evidence as such, showing early people’s attempts to recreate the world around them through different mediums. Perhaps one of the oldest types of art that more civilized groups of people partook in was glassblowing.
Today, we see gorgeously hand-spun, colorful works of art hanging from ceilings or hanging as ornamentation around gardens and houses. However, the practice of glass-blowing dates back to some of our most ancient ancestors. The oldest known glass excavations were from 1500 BC in the Egyptian and Phoenician civilizations, where materials like sand, limestone, clay, and seeds were abundant for usage.
The creation process back then was very similar as it is today. Small grains of sand are melted with an intense heat into a molten, molasses-like substance that can be poked and prodded into different shapes by blowing into it through a long, metal tube.
It wasn’t until 200 AD that glass vessels were made available for the average man. Until then, the noble and rich were most often to be found using them. Now that they were a common form of trade in the form of amulets, jugs, bottles, and beads, more heavily decorated pieces became desirable and glassblowers started to refine their work into art. They added precious metals, gemstones, and vibrant colors to their pieces as usable jugs made way for decorative pieces like jewelry.
Through the centuries, every civilization took their own spin at the popular art form. The Venetians have been accredited with having nearly perfected the craft. Since coming to America, glass-blowing has become a much more efficient and commercial enterprise and continues to live on world-wide as an enjoyable hobby for many.