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Color: Color for Studio Glassworkers

This guide provides basic sources to understand the techniques of coloring glass

General, including optical properties

Rakow Library vertical file: "Glass making-Batches, Recipes, Formulae, Compositions, Color." Contains color-related articles, information from Suellen Fowler, recipes, and other information about coloring glass

Furnace work


Burton, John, 1894-1985. Glass: philosophy and method: hand-blown, sculptured, colored. Philadelphia: Chilton Book Co. 1967. 278 p. Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index. “Chapter 11: Making colored snake thread,” pp. 163-169, briefly describes making colors in glass using tubing sealed on one end and placing inside a few grains of a metallic oxide. Location: Stacks TP859.2 .B97

Wheeler, E. L. Scientific glassblowing. With a pref. by G. Ross Robertson. New York: Interscience Publishers, 1958. xxii, 478 p.  Notes: “Colored glasses,” pp. 13. Includes a brief list of coloring agents and color of glass produced. He refers to Morey for a detailed study of the composition of glass (and color). Charts showing “Chemical composition” of common silica, borosilicate, and soda-lime glasses, pp. 15 and “…properties of common glasses used in scientific glassblowing” (types of borosilicate & transparent silica), p. 17. A digital copy of this book was made by/for Joseph Imler. CMGL has a copy of the digital file on CD-ROM (BIB 119644, TP859 .I33). Digital file lacks t.p. and ends at p. 425. Location: Stacks TP859.2 .W56


Lundstrom, Boyce. Raku glass. By Boyce Lundstrom. [United States]: B. Lundstrom, 2011. 45 p. Notes: "A kiln firing process book one"--T.p. verso. "There is a freshness of spirit and attitude when treating glass fusing like the American raku clay process. Splashing on a glaze or leaving large brush marks is a hallmark of raku….”--P. 5. Using copper inclusions, metal oxide combinations (“Reactive Dry Enamels”) to color fused glass. Location: Stacks TP859.1 .L96r

Enameling and Stained Glass

Caviness, Madeline Harrison. Stained glass windows. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1996. 86 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 12-38) and index. Notes: Includes an overview of stained glass history and techniques 500-1480; Techniques of making a window in the period 500-1480 includes “pot metal and flashed glasses,” pp. 46-49; painting, pp. 51-53; firing the paint, pp. 53-55; colors produced with the help of the kiln, pp. 53-55. Location: Stacks NK5308 .C38

Periodicals and Associations (Selected)

The Independent Glassblower. [Newsletter]. Gruenig Glassworks, West Barnet, VT 05821.

Note: Articles listed by issue no.

5: Manganese color chemistry.

17: Crystal recipes.

18: Coloring spruce pine batch.

20: Crystal recipes compatible with color rods; opal formulas.

24: Opal glass recipes.

26: Silvering glass.

27: Iridizing glass.

28: Gold ruby.

29: Copper ruby.

45: Cadmium/selenium ruby.

46: Cadmium/selenium ruby.

Location: Periodicals PER TP859.I38

Related LibGuides

Related Topics

Kendrick, Grace. The mouth-blown bottle. [Ann Arbor, MI: Lithographed by Edwards Bros., 1968]. 200 pp. Note: Bibliography: pp. 195-196. “Colors of Bottle Glass,” pp. 26-33; not a technical book, but contains useful information.

Location: Secured Stacks TP866.K33


Neuwirth, Waltraud. Farbenglas: vom Biedermeier zum Art Deco = color in glass: from Biedermeier to Art Deco. Technisches Museum Vienna. 2 vols. Vienna: the author, 1993. I: Color schemes white, black, yellow, green; II: Color schemes blue, red, index. Includes color range of Gablonz glass notions (necklaces, beads, and belt buckles) from the Biedermeier into the Art Deco period; recipes for colored glasses (in German); and a German-English glossary of terms.

Location: Stacks TP861.5.N49; Microforms F-15185


Silverman, Alexander. Sandwich glass. New York: Glass Industry, 1936. Note: 1. Introduction and crystal batches. 2. Opal and alabaster glasses. 3. Red and pink glasses. 4. Amber, yellow and green glasses. 5. Blue glasses, pink, lavender and purple, gray and black glasses, as well as methods of silvering glass. Reprinted from Glass Industry, v. 17, 1936.

Location: Stacks NK5112.9.S2.S58


Strattman, Wayne. Neon techniques: handbook of neon sign and cold-cathode lighting. Edited by Wayne Strattman. 4th ed. Cincinnati: ST Media Group International Inc., 1997. 233 p.

2003 prtg. published by ST Media Group International. Colors from clear vs. colored glass, p. 38; Visibility of colors, pp. 19, 21, 22, 23.

Location: Stacks TK4383 .S91


Von Wrangel, Margaret. Research in bending, coloring and laminating glass. [Seattle, Washington: Von Wrangel, 1966?]. i, 30 [i.e. 15] p. Typescript. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Washington, [1966?]. Includes bibliographical references (p. 15). Discusses staining adhesives and use of oxides.

Location: Secured Stacks TP859.1 .V94




Recycling and Color

Randal Dalbey and Ro Purser "Color Modification of Post-Consumer Glass Cullet" Prepared by: The Recycling Technology Assistance Partnership (ReTAP) A program of the CWC (Clean Washington Center), 2200 Alaskan Way, Suite 460, Seattle, WA 98121. (Re-TAP PROTOCOL) (Report No. GL-96-4 (16 pages, 1996)).  NO LONGER AVAILABLE ONLINE - see updated version in "Websites"; 


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