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Crackle Glass from
The Glass Encyclopedia

A short explanation of Crackle Glass:
Crackle glass has an uneven surface resembling cracked ice. Also known as ice glass or craquelle, it is sometimes called broc a glaces in France and very similar techniques are called vetro a ghiaccio and vetro corroso in Italy.

Crackle glass is made by taking a gather of molten glass and blowing it into a small bulb, then treating the surface by rolling it on something suitable such as a heated marver (metal bench top), before dipping it very swiftly into cold water. This cracks the surface of the glass, which can then be reheated and blown larger to melt the sharp edges and widen the crackle effect. Sometimes another layer of glass is added and the crackle effect is totally enclosed.

The technique requires skill to avoid a complete shattering of the glass and to avoid melting the cracks completely on reheating. It was first developed in Venice in the 16th century, and later in Spain, the Netherlands, England and the USA. Blenko Glass, in the USA, produced a wide variety of exotic shapes in crackle glass over a long period.

Crackle glass is still being made today, and some of the today's crackle glass items are produced and sold very cheaply. They tend to be simple shapes, and clear crackle glass is very common.

Overshot glass is different, although it is often confused with crackle glass. With overshot glass the molten glass item is rolled over tiny splinters of glass on a heated marver (metal plate or bench-top) and then reheated to soften the very sharp edges on the splinters.

References and Further Reading

Here are some books on crackle glass. Click on any book cover to read more about that book.

Crackle Glass Too: 1950s-2000 (2007) crackle glass book (2004) Crackle Glass of Depression era (2000) crackle glass book 1995 Crackle glass 1997 Crackle glass book 2 Weitman (1992)

A Dictionary of Glass materials and techniques by Charles Bray, 2nd Edition 2001.

Millers glass fact file a-z by Ivo Haanstra, 2001.

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