Glass Books and Periodicals
* Updated June 14, 2014 *
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This list is in no way comprehensive and is listed in no particular order. Suggestions are welcome.
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Paul J. Stankard: Homage to Nature by Ulysses Grant Dietz
If you like paperweights - BUY THIS BOOK! Filled with beautifully detailed photographs of Paul Stankard's paperweights as well as excellent closeups of the making of his flowers and other paperweight inclusions. It also includes an interesting background on Paul's career and philosophy, but the multitude of wonderful color photographs of his extraordinary work are what make this book truly special.
No Green Berries or Leaves: The Creative Journey of an Artist in Glass by Paul J. Stankard
Although not intended to be, I consider this somewhat of a companion book to the one above. Virtually everyone with more than a passing interest in glass art and paperweights knows of Paul Stankard's work, but very few know the full story of how he got to where he is today. This is that story, as told by Paul himself. A very interesting background on Paul Stankard's career and evolution from production scientific glassblower to world famous glass artist, as well as the challenges he faced along the way. Well worth reading.
Miniature Masterpieces: Mosaic Glass 1838 - 1924 by Giovanni Sarpellon
Another fantastic book. Originally published in Italian in 1990, this book was translated to English in 1995 to coincide with the special exhibition of mosaic glass at the Corning Museum of Glass that year. A magnificent book tracing the history of mosaic glass canes and the objects made with them in Murano, Italy. The photos of canes and other objects are great and the detail in some of these mosaic canes, or murrine, is absolutely mind boggling. Wonderful background details about the men who made the glass. Written by someone who obviously knows about glass. I highly recommend this book! (Unfortunatley, it is now out of print.)
Making Glass Beads by Cindy Jenkins
As its name implies, a "how to" book on glass beadmaking. While technically a little lacking, and occasionally inaccurate, this book has hundreds of excellent photos of contemporary beads. I bought it primarily for the photos and as reference about who is making what beads today (although in at least one case a bead is credited as being made by someone who BOUGHT it from another beadmaker). The author, Cindy Jenkins, is also the maker of the Hot Head torch. This is a good reference book for beadlovers and a popular book for beginning beadmakers. Just don't take everything in it as gospel...
The Complete Book of Pottery Making by John Kenny
No, it's not about glass, but this one is my hidden treasure. I picked this up at a library sale for 25 cents. (I LOVE library sales!) I had never heard of it and bought it on a whim, without really looking at it (why not, it was just a quarter). I have been thankful ever since. Explains things in such a clear and understandable way, that even those of us who are "ceramically challenged" get it. It is a WONDERFUL book! Published in 1949, there is a wealth of practical information on working with clay, making molds, slipcasting, glazes, clays, etc. From the days when "do it youself" really MEANT doing it yourself. I expect to use the information to make some glass melting crucibles, some slumping molds, and a few other things. I thought it was no longer available, but it turns out it was reprinted in 1985. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks it is a good book.
Advanced Glassworking Techniques by Edward T. Schmid
If you make glass out of the furnace or want to know how it's done, I can sum up my opinion in three words - BUY THIS BOOK!
Excellent book covering a multitude of glassworking techniques (for the furnace). Handwritten and illustrated, this is easily the best book of its kind available (and would still be, even if there WERE any others of its kind available). It is like having great notes from 12 years worth of glassmaking classes in one binding. The only complaints I have are that the table of contents is not very complete (although the index is, which almost makes up for it) and that I find the handwritten text a little difficult to read at times (my eyes aren't what they used to be). These are very minor gripes in the scheme of things.
Beginning Glassblowing by Edward T. Schmid
Formerly known as Ed's Big Handbook of Glassblowing, this fully revised and completely illustrated book covers all aspects on how to blow hot glass from the furnace. Teaches about the tools, techniques and concepts involved in furnace glassblowing. An excellent "how-to" book. Handwritten text.
Glass Notes: A Reference for the Glass Artist by Henry Halem
The cover says "an illustrated guide for building and maintaining a modern glass studio", which is as good a description as any. Drawings and instructions for building a variety of glass studio equipment - furnaces, annealers, etc., as well as other useful information for the studio glassmaker. The author assumes the reader has a basic working knowledge of welding and equipment construction. It could use a little more detail in places, but all-in-all a useful book for someone wanting to build a hot glass studio. Be aware that some of the technical information in the book is wrong. One example is the coefficient of expansion factors attributed to English and Turner, which include a number of factors that are not theirs. [This description covers the third edition. There is now an updated 4th edition out, which I haven't yet read.]
A Glassblower's Companion by Dudley Giberson
Like Glass Notes above, this book is about building glass studio equipment. There are various designs for glory holes, furnaces, annealers, and beadmaking equipment. There is also a good bit of Dudley's personal philosophy and ideas on ancient glassmaking techniques thrown in. I found this to be a pretty good book, although there were a couple of things I wasn't impressed by. One - the graphic design police are probably searching for Dudley at this very moment to lock him up. Two (far more important) - throughout the book Dudley writes about the wonders of a refractory material called Mono T9, and how it is one of the few refractories that doesn't have an equivalent made by another company. But in spite of his continuous praise of Mono T9, he NEVER mentions who makes it (National Refractories) or where to get it!?! This is not the only "fill in the blanks" item in the book. (Dudley has since published the missing info about Mono T9 on his website at: www.joppaglass.com/book/update.html)
Still, in spite of these minor annoyances, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting a text on building glass studio equipment.
You can order A Glassblower's Companion direct from the author at: Joppa Glassworks, P.O. Box 202, Warner, NH 03278 (Dudley Giberson is also the maker of the highly popular, Giberson Ceramic Burner Head.)
Contemporary Lampworking by Bandu Scott Dunham
Comprehensive book about lampworking. Good book for those looking for information on lampworking techniques and suppliers, as well as info on setting up a lampworking studio. Best book of its kind that I know of. Apparently there is a new edition that just came out with even more info in it.
Glassblowing: An Introduction to Solid and Blown Glass Sculpturing by Homer Hoyt
Describes a variety of lampworking techniques in an understandable way. Step by step instructions on making a variety of small glass animals and other items. Good instructional book. This is a good book for someone who wants to learn to make critters 'n stuff with a torch.
Creative Glassblowing by James Hammesfahr and Clair Strong
Another good book describing a variety of lampworking techniques with detailed instructions, especially useful for beginners. This was my first glassblowing book. I've had two different copies of it over the years, both of which have "disappeared". Obviously, others like it too...
Glas 1905 - 1925, Klein Technologie by Waltraud Neuwirth
Fourth in a series of glass books by the author (I haven't seen the others), this extremely well illustrated book covers the step-by-step making of a variety of glass items. Filligrana canes, color overlays, optic molded ware, and more. The illustrations are so good that the fact the text is in German is only a minor hindrance to understanding the book. It also helps that the illustrations make up about 90 percent of the book's content. I hope some day this book will be translated so I can understand the other ten percent... An excellent book
Firing Schedules for Glass by Graham Stone
A new book about, well, firing schedules for glass. Firing Schedules for Glass is divided into 3 parts. The first contains the fundamentals of glass firing, essential knowledge for effective use of the firing schedules in part 2. The second part consists of a multitude of detailed firing schedules and charts for a wide variety of types and thicknesses of glass. The final part of the book features some very useful technical data, conversion tables, blank firing charts and log sheets, and other information to help enhance the the reader's understanding of the process and the materials. This is an excellent book that will make life far easier for a wide range of glass artists. The firing shedules in the book would take years to determine on one's own.
Spiral bound, on normal printer paper, the somewhat homemade look of the book in no way detracts from the excellent infomation within.
In addition to the link above, Firing Schedules for Glass may also be available from the WarmGlass.com website (see Contemporary Warm Glass, below)
Contemporary Warm Glass by Brad Walker
A very good new book about slumping and fusing glass (AKA, "warm glass"). The book contains various slumping/fusing projects, information aimed at both beginning level fusers/slumpers as well as the more experienced, and lots of color photos. I sent a copy to a friend of mine who does fused glass and she loved it. She even used it during a class she was teaching the day after she received it, and her students thought it was great too. I spoke to her about it again recently and she said the more she uses this book, the more she loves it. The author, Brad Walker, also has an excellent website about warm glass (oddly enough, called warmglass.com). You can order the book direct from his website. You can also order Firing Schedules for Glass (above) from there, too.
Advanced Flameworking, Volume 1 / Making and Marketing Better Work by Milon Townsend
This is a unique and excellent book for flameworkers, especially those working with borosilicate. Unlike Contemporary Lampworking, another excellent lampworking book focusing on a different audience, it does not try to be all things to all people. Advanced Flameworking / Making and Marketing is printed in an unusual "double" book format, being essentially two related books combined into one binding. Reading from the front cover, one finds Advanced Lampworking, which has a wealth of EXTREMELY detailed information about subjects ranging from tools and techniques to problem solving in the studio. The hundreds of step-by-step full-color photographs and explanations of various pieces being made are the most detailed I have ever seen published anywhere, and the color charts showing the various effects achieved with different colors and heat treatments of Northstar borosilicate color rods (including exactly which Northstar colors are used for each) are of immense value to anyone using borosilicate.
Beginning from what would normally be the "back" cover, Making and Marketing Better Work is an otherwise completely separate volume containing Milon's advice on dealing with the practical aspects of making and selling one's work. With nearly 30 years of experience in the field of producing and marketing his glasswork, and having attained worldwide recognition as a glass artist, he is as qualified as anyone (and far more qualified than all but a very few) to offer this advice. This volume covers everything from dealing with shops/galleries to laying out what is essentially a roadmap to successfully realizing ones personal goals. Presented in a straightforward manner, the information provided is insightful, and very practical.
Advanced Flameworking is also available without the Making and Marketing Better Work addition. In spite of the additional cost, I would strongly recommend the double book to anyone who wants to sell his/her glass. I have always loved Milon's work. I love his book as well!
Glass Books - (The somewhat more technical type)
Modern Glass Practice by Samuel Scholes
Written by Sam Scholes and originally published in 1935, it was "completely revised and enlarged" by Charles H. Greene in 1974. Widely considered the bible of glassmaking, it is a pretty technical but still understandable book. While the new version does contain more material, I personally find the older one more readable. There is a very good reason Alfred University named their glass/ceramics library "The Scholes Library". He must have been one hell of a professor...
Glass Technology for the Studio by Frank Woolley
More of a booklet than an actual book, in reality this is a 90 page compilation of notes, handouts, and information from the glass lectures given by Frank Woolley at the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass over the course of several years. "Real" book or not, it is very much worth having for anyone melting, thinking about melting, or simply working with, glass. It contains a great deal of very practical information presented in a very understandable way. It is well worth the $15 price. This text is especially useful to someone wanting to make his/her own glass and understand some of the technical aspects involved. It also contains the best explanation of glass compatibility I have seen anywhere. While not widely available, it should be available from either http://whitehouse-books.com or the bookstore at the Corning Museum of Glass. Price as of 6/27/05 is $15, and is money well spent.
Coloured Glasses by Woldemar Weyl
Speaking of glassmaking bibles - if you plan to make your own colored glass, this book is a "must have". It may be a little difficult to find, but Whitehouse-books.com in Corning, NY had several new copies of this classic glass text on the shelves the last time I was there. Apparently it was recently reprinted.
The Kiln Book - materials, specifications & construction by Frederic Olsen
Written for potters who want to build their own kilns, there is a lot of information that is also applicable to building glass furnaces and annealers. This is an excellent supplemental book for someone wanting to build his/her own equipment. Since a glass annealer is so similar to a ceramic kiln, much of the info in this book is applicable to either. Some very useful charts and tables concerning gas piping sizes and BTU outputs, as well as many other things. The more gas-fired equipment you use (or want to build), the better this book is. Also has info on electric heating elements and wire sizes and types.
Ceramic Glazes by Cullen Parmalee
"Completely revised and enlarged" by Cameron Harman in 1973 this one has a bunch o' technical information on (what else?) ceramic glazes. This is probably the glaze bible for potters. Another good addition to the technical glass library, even if it was written for potters. After all, glaze is just glass that you coat clay with, isn't it?
Scientific Glassblowing by E. L. Wheeler
What's that you say? You'd like to make a high vacuum system or a fractional distillation column. This book will show you how it's done. Aimed primarily at laboratory glassblowers, Scientific Glassblowing has a lot of information that would be useful to the inquisitive lampworker. For instance, there is a chapter with info on vacuum coating glass surfaces (think "dichroic").
The Handbook of Glass Manufacture by Dr. Fay V. Tooley
Covers so much glassmaking information that it comes in a two volume set with over 1200 total pages. The 3rd edition, published in 1983, is the latest and most comprehensive edition, although much (most?) of the info is dated/obsolete - especially that about instrumentation. The information within is aimed at large-scale glassmaking in industry, but it can still be useful to the studio glassmaker with the ability to understand it. Unfortunately, the $200 price of the set is very steep. The information within is not worth it at that price, but is okay if you can find it cheap. (I bought my set brand new for $40.)
The Independent Glassblower - Originally published by David Gruenig
My favorite glassblowing newsletter for furnace workers. Contains information about glass chemistry, color formulation, equipment building, etcetera, as they pertain to the small scale glass studio. A valuable resource, TIG started out as a bi-monthly newsletter and went to quarterly publication in the early 1990's. Unfortunately, it ceased publication several years ago. Fortunately, a compendium of many of the back issues is now available electronically as a .pdf by using the email link above. It is well worth the price of $39.95. As someone said to me back in the 1980's when I was considering whether or not to subscribe to the newsletter, "If you learn one thing a year that saves you two hours of work, you have more than paid for your subscription". Since then, I have saved much more time and energy than that.
Glass Line - 120 S. Kroeger St., Anaheim, CA. 92805-4011
A good bi-monthly newsletter primarily aimed at lampworkers. There is also an online version with an excellent links page to all kinds of glass related pages and various glass discussion boards.
Crafts Report - Magazine for those trying to make a living in the art and/or craft biz. Some very good articles and useful information.
Sunshine Artist - Another magazine specifically for those trying to make a living in the art and/or craft biz, the reviews they publish about craft shows around the country being their primary claim to fame. The quality of the content varies. Most of their website is unavailable to non-subscribers to the magazine, but there is still enough info to make it worth checking out.
You can also check with amazon.com for books in which you are interested. I have found a few of the books listed above discounted up to 30% through them. Because I receive a (very) small percentage of Amazon sales made via this, and the other links above, shopping through them will help support and improve this website without costing you anything extra.
This is Brian Kerkvliet, a well known beadmaker who had a copy of my books and periodicals page embedded in one of his web pages as though he was the author of it. When I discovered it and complained, he told me I should be flattered that he liked it enough to steal it and post it on his website. Normally, I hate animated GIFs, but I am quite fond of this one.
The flip side of this is that if you like my website and you are going to buy a book (or video, CD, or tape) from Amazon.com anyway, you can help support the time and effort that I spend on this website by clicking through to them from here. But if they don't have it in stock and someplace else does, by all means, buy it from the place that has it. Thanks.
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