Glassmaking as a craft is thought to date back to around 3,500 BCE as a glaze on vessels or beads. From the 16th Century BCE, glass vases were produced in Mesopotamia, hollow glasses and jewellery in Egypt, and the craft also evolved in Greece and China.
When glassblowing was created in Syria centuries later, and as glassmaking techniques were subsequently embraced and adapted by the Romans, the variety of shapes and uses for glass objects greatly increased.
As the middle ages approached, processes were invented which allowed for the production of sheets of glass, stained or left clear and fitted together using lead strips, giving us stained glass.
Over time, further techniques were developed to give us clearer, brighter, more resilient glass to use in windows, mirrors, and decorative pieces. With technologies invented to automate the production of glass vessels and sheets, and scientists investigating the chemical properties of glass, the craft evolved to include an indispensible industry.
Now, makers working in glass can draw on this long history to create all kinds of work, from the practical and functional to the fantastical and outlandish.
Craft Scotland represents some 150 makers working with glass. They produce an incredible variety of work from stained glass windows, glass beads, and lamps to jewelry, 3D scenes, and vessels.
Our makers draw on traditional and contemporary production methods and techniques to stain, paint, cast, and engrave their glass, and incorporate metals, wood, found objects, and even lighting into their work.
You can search for Scottish Glass makers on the Craft Scotland website and browse our database of talented makers.