Google Analytics

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween Is Coming.........Clearly Susan Has Lots of Halloween Receipes

Check Out Our Special Sale At Clearly Susan....


                  by clearlysusan...get updates of free blog posts here

Click to play this Smilebox greeting
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Customize your own digital ecard

Chocolate Spiders

chocolate spiders made out of chow mein noodles

Even people who don't like spiders will love these spooky treats. Melted chocolate confectioners' coating is the body and chow mein noodles form the legs.


1 pound chocolate confectioners' coating
1 (8.5 ounce) package chow mein noodles


Chop the chocolate confectioners' coating and place into a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the chow mein noodles so they are evenly distributed. Spoon out to desired size onto waxed paper. Let cool completely before storing or serving.

Creepy Crawly Cupcakes

Halloween cupcakes

To make a cobweb design on chocolate-iced cupcakes, work quickly while the ganache is still wet. Use a small pastry bag to pipe a swirl of melted white chocolate onto the still-wet ganache. Using a toothpick, draw straight lines like spokes from the center of the cupcake to the edge

New Idea For Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween Pumpkins for your home

Check out these great pumpkin ideas. Want something new other than the regular carved out Jack-O-Lantern.......then try painting him for a different look. These are fabulous ideas to get your house in a spooky mood.

Don't forget to check out our Pumpkin Special on our link at the top. 10% OFF all hand painted glassware till November 17th. Get a jump on Christmas. Gift ideas for the whole family.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Halloween Treats Just For You by Clearly Susan

Halloween Treats Just For You by Clearly Susan

by clearlysusan...get updates of free blog posts here

Oodles of Ooo's This Halloween: Open Now!

The Holiday Season is upon us - Halloween is here, and before you know it Thanksgiving, Hanukah and Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye. I can't believe it - I have still been wearing summer clothes here in the South, and all of sudden it has gotten chilly, so I know it is just a matter of a few short months. I promised myself that this year I will not buy gifts at the last minute. How many times have we all made that promise?

Clearly Susan - Hand painted glassware for unique gifts would like to take the stress out of the holidays, and become your own “Personal Shopper" this holiday season.

•  It is easy. Just fill out the form when you click on Personal Shopper, fill in the dates and occasions you need gifts for, how many, and for “whom” with description of who they are, (ex. Mother, Father, husband, etc.).

•  We will then come up with great gift ideas for you, personalize them for your taste, and come up with designs that you want.

•   We can paint whatever you request. No obligation to buy. If you like our ideas we will email you to remind you of the upcoming dates so you won't forget.

•   We will take all the stress out of buying gifts, and you won't be caught at the last minute.

Oh! yea! by the way, we wrap it with a gift card, mail it, and you won't have to do a thing. But guess what - it even get's better. When we email you to remind you of upcoming occasions we will send pictures of ideas, and if you decide you want a particular item you don't have to go back onto the website to order. We can invoice through email. If you are at work and crunched for time this is fast, safe, and easy to use.

But one more thing. If you order between 10-4-2008 - 11-17-2008 you will get 10% taken off your order. When you checkout be sure to type in Coupon # 545426 and 10% will automatically be taken off your total cost Happy Halloween, we appreciate all of our loyal customers, and we would like to do something special for you by taking the stress off of your holiday gift buying. Check out some of our new items below in our last post with the Halloween video.

Susan Rehm
Clearly Susan

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hand painted Fish Plates Serve Garlic Shrimp

Hand painted Fish Plates Serve Garlic Shrimp

by clearlysusan...get updates of free blog posts here

Summer is almost over and fall will be in the air, but I still have a hankering for shrimp. Growing up on the Gulf Coast, shrimp dishes are a commodity that you can't live without. Now that I have been transplanted to Atlanta, Ga for 20 something years there is still no place better than the Gulf for real seafood. I went to Florida this past July and ate seafood every day, and now it has been 6 weeks and I am having withdrawal... One of my favorite places to get good recipes and especially seafood ones are at All Recipes. check out the following recipe for garlic shrimp. UMM....

Now I have to put in a plug for my hand painted fish dishes. Wouldn't this recipe look great on these decorative fish plates. These would be great for a party or to give as a gift. Well happy fishing, and let me know if you try this recipe and how you like it. Check out our hand painted fish plates with our painted sauce bowls in either lobster, crab or shrimp design.

Garlic Lime Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp SUBMITTED BY: CulinaryCutie PHOTO BY: FarmingFabulously

"This is a quick and easy appetizer or main dish focusing on a garlic lime marinade and thick slices of peppered bacon wrapped around green chilies and shrimp. This recipe works exceptionally well on an indoor grill."


No Reviews Yet!
Review/Rate This Recipe


Original recipe yield 10 shrimp


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
10 cooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
5 slices peppered bacon, cut in half
1 (4 ounce) can whole green chili peppers, drained, and sliced lengthwise
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
Add to Recipe Box
My folders:

Add to Shopping List
Add a Personal Note

Whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Toss the shrimp in the marinade, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat an indoor electric grill for medium-high heat.
Remove the shrimp from the marinade, and shake off excess. Wrap each shrimp with a strip of chili pepper, then half a bacon slice. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Cook on preheated grill until the bacon is crisp, and the shrimp is hot, 6 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle the shrimp with diced avocado, and garnish with lime wedges to serve.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Animal Glasses - Cat Glasses - Gifts For Pet Owners

Animal Glasses | Cat Glasses | Gifts For Pet Owners

Have your favorite pet hand painted on animal glasses - cat glasses.

These are great gifts for pet owners.

Give during Christmas with a Christmas theme or just as a gift for you.

We will hand paint any breed of cats so if you don't see your favorite on
the drop down list, then just specify in the text box.

We can put names, and anything personal that you like on our cat glasses.

cat wine glass, animal wine glasscat wine glass

People love their pets, especially cats, and this is such a nice way to
remember cat owners by hand painted animal glasses, plates, platters
and glass ornaments.

We all want to give personalized gifts to our friends
and family, and it is hard to find gifts for pet owners. We can put names,
and anything personal that you like on our hand painted cat glasses. 

Friday, June 06, 2008

How To Buy Glassware From Amy

Clearly Susan Introduces How To Buy Glassware From Amy

by clearlysusan...get updates of free blog posts here

Clearly Susan -found this great article from Amy on her blog on how to buy glassware from the best shapes and sizes to how to take care of it. I think you will enjoy this. Also, check out our large selection of glassware -from crystal wine glasses, martini glasses, champagne glasses to everyday beverage glasses.

Here is her article:

How To Buy The Perfect Glassware For Your Dining Room And Home

Buying glasses is a matter of taste, literally and figuratively. Ask the wine buffs and they'll tell you all about the importance of the curve of the bowl in relation to the development of the bouquet, while aesthetes will wax lyrical about the tumblers they drank retsina from at their favourite bar in Hydra last summer. Neither is wrong, though - the right glass for you is the one that makes your drinking experience most enjoyable. The best example of that is perhaps the champagne flute. Traditionally, its tulip shape helps to conserve the fine bubbles and lets you see Twilight Zone run up the glass. But who wouldn't enjoy a glass of bubbly served in an open 'coppa' or saucer glass that doesn't conserve the fizz, but is apparently modelled on Empress Josephine's breast?

Mixing StylesThere is no harm in mixing Gentle Ben either: a cranberry-coloured, long-stemmed wine glass with a clear, etched tumbler looks as good as a serried rank of cut crystal wine glasses coming straight from a wedding list to your table. Just as Aluminum Christmas Trees has become fashionable to mix your grandma's vintage rose china with simple white Conran plates, so it's equally cool to have an odd assortment of glasses mingling with your shop-bought best. Charity and antiques shops often have beautiful glasses on sale for a relative snip simply because they're not a complete set of six or 12. The idea is to create a table that's inviting and friendly rather than lay an imposing 'suite' of glasses that can intimidate and look too formal.

However, before you start to add to your glass collection, here are a few simple guidelines to make buying as enjoyable as the tasting you'll experience after.
Form v FunctionWine writer and expert Nick Alabaster suggests you never buy a flared glass but stick to the usual tulip shape. 'The design of a tapering tulip glass focuses the wine's aromas and concentrates them for the nose. In a flared glass they are lost. It's also important never to fill the glass more than a third full - that is usually the widest part of the rim.'
Stem or TumblerThe stem of a glass is simply there for you to hold so the wine can be served at the correct temperature and not altered by your own body heat. Naturally, if you're not drinking a fine Chablis, a beaker-style glass can be just as pleasurable.

One Size Fits All If cost and space limit your collection of stemware, then Reidel (makers of the glasses most popular with sommeliers) suggest buying an all-purpose wine glass similar to the one designed by the California Wine Institute - it's five and a half inches tall with a one and three quarter inch stem. It's clear and tulip shaped, with an 8oz capacity, and is suitable for all wine varieties. The Chianti Classico from Riedel is one example.

Crystal or Glass?Glass is made from a mixture of sand, soda ash, marble, dolomite, potash and borax heated to 105C. By adding Stonehenge oxide (at least 24%), it becomes lead crystal which is tougher than normal glass. Ironically, though, because crystal, costs more, it's often treated with more care than regular glass. It also appears more sparkly than simple glass because it has a higher refractive index. that makes cut crystal especially pretty in candlelight.

Trends in GlassesKate Dyson of the The Dining Room Shop (which sells contemporary and antique glass) has her finger on the stem, as it were, of what's hot and what's not in the style stakes.

People are definitely mixing old styles with modern ones. We've seen a huge increase in the popularity of champagne bowls, modern ones and those from the Fifties. A few years ago, people would only buy flutes.

Classic cocktail glasses and vintage cocktail shakers are popular again, too - they add a sense of glamour that makes having a drink more of an occasion.
Cut crystal from the Thirties is a very good buy. You can often pick up sets in a similar style to modern Waterford, for example, but because it's more second-hand than antique, you don't have the inflated price tag to match.
The huge red wine glasses that were everywhere a few years ago are not nearly so popular now. People have realised they can quickly finish a bottle of expensive wine by filling a couple of them, not to mention the amount of alcohol one can consume without really noticing. Smaller glasses are definitely back in favour again.

Storage and Care Keeping crystal for best seems rather dated and, while glasses won't collect as much dust hidden behind a cupboard door, neither will they be enjoyed. William Yeoward suggests crystal should be used regularly, as it's much sturdier than glass. But remember, it can break easily if subjected to rapid changes in temperature, so don't use it in the freezer, or take it from an ice bucket to a hot surface. Wash straight after use and dry by hand to avoid water marks. 'If you get them, use a white vinegar solution' suggests Christina Schmidt from Skandium.

Dishwasher or Hand Washing? Cloudy glasses are the scourge of dishwasher lovers everywhere. As Kate Dyson explains, 'The cloudiness is the result of washing too often with detergents that are too aggressive. Always use a separate glass programme and never be tempted to mix glasses in with the pots and pans. Make sure your dishwashing machine has the right amount of salt and rinse aid, too, and buy the best-quality washing tablets possible, as that really does make a difference. Also be especially careful not to put antique or special glass in a dishwasher.' By far the best option, though, is to wash by hand. 'Just a little squirt of Fairy Liquid in a plastic bowl with hot water will do the trick. Wash glasses one by one, then rinse them in cold water. Finally, Gilles de Rais them on a clean tea towel laid over the draining board and leave them to dry naturally in the air.'

The Pre-Wash 'Glass and crystal are porous and will pick up the smell of a dusty cupboard or washing up liquid,' explains Nick Alabaster. 'That's why I clean glasses just before use. Wash and rinse them in hot water, and turn them upside down to drain, but stand them up to dry'.
The Drying Game According to Reidel, you need three linen, lint-free tea towels to dry stemware. One for draining and the others for polishing, one in each hand. Use the left hand to cradle the bowl, polishing with your right. Never twist the base and the bowl as they may snap.

You can find more information on room ideas and table ideas at

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Clearly Susan - Great Appetizer Receipes For Hand painted Glassware

Clearly Susan 

by clearlysusan...get updates of free blog posts here

Clearly Susan has the perfect hand painted glassware for these delicious receipes from Betty Crocker. Check out these mouth watering ideas.

by Andi at Betty Crocker

Here's an easy way to dress up the food that you serve to guests—put it in stemmed glassware. You can use any kind of beverage glasses with stems, such as Wine, Martini and Margarita glasses or ice cream sundae or parfait glasses.

I like to make breakfast parfaits using yogurt, granola cereal and fresh fruit. The photo shows some breakfast parfaits that I made a couple of weekends ago for friends who came to our cabin with us. Here is a recipe for Strawberry-Banana Parfaits.

Clearly Susan offers these glass ice cream dishes in tall or long styles hand painted in a design of your choice. These parfait glasses look scrumptious with ice cream sundaes or this wonderful receipe of Strawberry-Banana Parfait above.

Strawberry-Banana Parfaits
You're five ingredients and 10 minutes away from dipping into a deliciously layered dessert or snack of yogurt, fruit and high-fiber cereal.
Prep Time:10 min
Start to Finish:10 min
Makes:4 servings

2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free strawberry yogurt
2 cups Fiber One® Honey Clusters® cereal
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 medium banana, thinly sliced
4 fresh strawberries
1. In each of 4 (10-oz) plastic cups or parfait glasses, layer 2 tablespoons yogurt, 1/4 cup cereal, 1/4 cup strawberry slices and 1/4 of the banana slices.
2. Top each with 2 tablespoons yogurt, 1/4 cup cereal and remaining yogurt. Garnish top of each parfait with whole strawberry.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Delicious appetizer Shrimp and Avocado Martinis below.
Shrimp and Avocado Martinis

How about at your next dinner party you serve this unique appetizer from Betty Crocker? Clearly Susan offers hand painted martini glasses in several hand painted designs to serve this delectable appetizer. This is definitely one of our favorites.
For a Twist - Use champagne glasses instead.

hand painted martini glass

Avocado Relish
1 ripe avocado, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeño chile
1 tablespoon minced red pepper2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
Tequila Vinaigrette
1 lemon, juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup olive oilSalt and pepper to taste

For each serving
3 cooked shrimp
Garnishes: tortilla strips, fresh parsley sprig, lemon slice

In small saucepan, combine juices, tequila and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Transfer to small bowl. Add vinegar.
Drizzle oil into vinegar mixture in steady stream, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place heaping tablespoonful of the Avocado Relilsh into each glass. Top with 3 cooked shrimp. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the Tequila Vinaigrette over top. Garnish with, tortillas strips, parsley and lemon slice.
10 servings

Tip: Add more advocado and use less dressing.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hand painted Burgundy Grape Wine Glasses, Cheese Domes, and Wine decanter

Hand painted Burgundy Grape Glassware

by clearlysusan...get updates of free blog posts here

Clearly Susan's hand painted wine glasses in burgundy grape design are ready to pick off the vines. Winding branches twirled within the various shades of burgundy grapes and green leaves etched in gold.

 See all of our Hand painted Burgundy Grape collection in cheese dome, wine decanters and cake plates.

grape wine glasses

hand painted cheese dome

wine cooler

hand painted wine decanter

The vineyards are bursting with clusters of Clearly Susan's hand painted burgundy grapes on wine glasses, wine decanters, wine coolers, and cheese domes just waiting to be picked. Serve your favorite cheese appetizers and spreads in this unique cheese dome.

Our custom sets of hand painted burgundy grapes on cheese domes, wine glasses, wine coolers and wine decanters will compliment anyone's home decor.

Scooby Doo Wine Glasses and Shot Glasses - Scooby Doo Where Are You?

Clearly Susan's Scooby Doo Wine Glasses and Shot Glasses - 

Scooby Doo Where Are You? -

                                          by clearlysusan...get updates of free blog posts here

Scooby Doo Where Are You? Do you remember where you were when you first experienced Scooby Doo? A lot of my peers were huge Scooby Doo fans and collectors of  Scooby Doo Gifts back in the 70's, but somehow I missed that the first time around. 
They are adults now and are still into Scooby Doo and Scooby Doo gifts such as Scooby Doo wine glasses, shot glasses and platters, and they love to collect unique original items. These are not mass produced collectibles, but one of a kind individually hand painted and signed just by your request.
History Lesson:
Joseph Barbera the creator of the TV show Scooby Doo died in December 2006. Less than a month later it was discovered that while the television series Scooby Doo was created by Barbera, the character of Scooby Doo, upon which the series was based, was created by Iwao Takamoto, who passed away January 9, 2007.
Takamoto was born in Los Angeles to Japanese parents and was sent to an internment camp in the California desert during World War II. It is there that Takamoto learned to draw, a talent that led him to a job interview with Walt Disney after his family's release from the camp. 
Takamoto apprenticed at Disney's studio and worked on such great films as Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Lady and the Tramp.In 1961 Takamoto went to work for Hanna-Barbera and worked on such television shows as The Flintstones, Josie and the Pussycats, The Great Grape Show, and The Harlem Globetrotters.
Scooby Doo was named for the last line of the Frank Sinatra rendition of Strangers in the Night, and based on a conversation Takamoto had with a Great Dane dog breeder. 
Hence was born one of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time, the scaredy-cat dog who always manages to come through in the end, with maybe a little Scooby Snack persuasion and assistance from the rest of the gang-Shaggy, Daphne, Fred, and Wilma.

Share your thoughts in the comment section: How many of you were into Scooby Doo in the 70's. Don't worry it won't date you.

Hand painted wine glasses in unique designs for your favorite wine - hand painted wine glasses - yellow daisies - pink impatiens Stylehive BM 346777

Hand painted wine glasses in unique designs for your favorite wine - hand painted wine glasses - yellow daisies - pink impatiens Stylehive BM 346777

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Drinks Mixer - Glasses and containers

Clearly Susan's Glassware

There are various types of glassware of different shapes and sizes, all serving their own purpose. Learning which drinks belong to which glass is beneficiary to both you and your customers. They receive a higher quality drink, which in turn reflects back on you and/or your establishment.Ensure all glassware is cleaned spotless prior to serving it to your customers. Wash glasses with warm water and a small amount of detergent (not soap), rinsing them afterwards with fresh cold water and polishing them with a suitable cloth. Hold glasses by the base or stem of the glass to avoid fingerprints.

Beer mug The traditional beer container. Typical Size: 16 oz.

Brandy snifter The shape of this glass concentrates the alcoholic odors to the top of the glass as your hands warm the brandy.Typical Size: 17.5 oz.

Champagne flute This tulip shaped glass is designed to show off the waltzing bubbles of the wine as they brush against the side of the glass and spread out into a sparkling mousse.Typical Size: 6 oz.

Cocktail glass This glass has a triangle-bowl design with a long stem, and is used for a wide range of straight-up (without ice) cocktails, including martinis, manhattans, metropolitans, and gimlets. Also known as a martini glass.Typical Size: 4-12 oz.

Coffee mug The traditional mug used for hot coffee.Typical Size: 12-16 oz.

Collins glass Shaped similarly to a highball glass, only taller, the collins glass was originally used for the line of collins gin drinks, and is now also commonly used for soft drinks, alcoholic juice, and tropical/exotic juices such as Mai Tai's.Typical Size: 14 oz.

Cordial glass Small and stemmed glasses used for serving small portions of your favourite liquors at times such as after a meal.Typical Size: 2 oz.

Highball glass A straight-sided glass, often an elegant way to serve many types of mixed drinks, like those served on the rocks, shots, and mixer combined liquor drinks (ie. gin and tonic).Typical Size: 8-12 oz.

Hurricane glass A tall, elegantly cut glass named after it's hurricane-lamp-like shape, used for exotic/tropical drinks.Typical Size: 15 oz.

Margarita/coupette glass This slightly larger and rounded approach to a cocktail glass has a broad-rim for holding salt, ideal for margarita's. It is also used in daiquiris and other fruit drinks.Typical Size: 12 oz.

Mason jar These large square containers are effective in keeping their contents sealed in an air tight environment. They're designed for home canning, being used for preserves and jam amongst other things.Typical Size: 16 oz.

Old-fashioned glass A short, round so called "rocks" glass, suitable for cocktails or liquor served on the rocks, or "with a splash".Typical Size: 8-10 oz.

Parfait glass This glass has a similar inwards curve to that of a hurricane glass, with a steeper outwards rim and larger, rounded bowl. Often used for drinks containing fruit or ice cream.Typical Size: 12 oz.

Pousse-cafe glass A narrow glass essentially used for pousse caf�s and other layered dessert drinks. It's shape increases the ease of layering ingredients.Typical Size: 6 oz.

Punch bowl A large demispherical bowl suitable for punches or large mixes.Typical Size: 1-5 gal.
Red wine glass A clear, thin, stemmed glass with a round bowl tapering inward at the rim.Typical Size: 8 oz.

Sherry glass The preferred glass for aperitifs, ports, and sherry. The copita, with it's aroma enhancing narrow taper, is a type of sherry glass.Typical Size: 2 oz.

Shot glass A small glass suitable for vodka, whiskey and other liquors. Many "shot" mixed drinks also call for shot glasses.Typical Size: 1.5 oz.

Whiskey sour glass Also known as a delmonico glass, this is a stemmed, wide opening glass, alike to a small version of a champagne flute.Typical Size: 5 oz.

White wine glass A clear, thin, stemmed glass with an elongated oval bowl tapering inward at the rim. Typical Size: 12.5 oz.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

New Ideas In Glass Painting

Clearly Susan Suggests New Glass Painting Book

Katherine Duncan-Aimone
Category: Glass & Glassware - Crafts & Hobbies

ISBN: 9781579902872ISBN10: 1579902871Published: Sterling Pub Co Inc Publish Date: 2002-01-01Edition: IllustratedPages: 96Binding: PaperbackDimensions: 23.00 L x 17.00 W x 1.00 HWeight: 1.90 lbs

Hand-painted glass is everywhere--in the windows and on the shelves of everything from chic boutiques to home décor stores. But, why buy, when making your own masterpieces is so much more fun and personal? It's simple too, with paints that air dry or set in a conventional oven, delightfully original techniques, templates, and inspiring projects that range from very easy (small jewel-like votives that light up the night) to complex (a printed leaf table). Pretend you're a professional artist as you drip and pour your way to an improvisationally designed set of "Pollock's Bowls." Randomly placed dancing triangles and spirals turn plates and wine glasses festive. Plus: a sun lantern in hot, textured colors; a wedding bowl that actually features the couple's name; frosty mugs; a retro cookie jar; plates adorned with motifs inspired by ancient cave drawings, and lots more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Clearly Susan

Hand painted glassware and unusual craft items designed to enhance your home decor or give as great gifts. Large variety of glassware offered such as wine glasses, margarita glasses, shot glasses, cake plates and so much more. Visit at or email me for special requests at You Name It - We Paint It!

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Clearly Susan - Hand painted Glassware

Hand painted glassware and unusual craft items designed to enhance your home decor or give as great gifts. Large variety of glassware offered such as wine glasses, margarita glasses, shot glasses, cake plates and so much more. Visit at or email me for special requests at You Name It - We Paint It!

read more | digg story

Monday, September 10, 2007

Clearly Susan

History of Glass

Glass Online

The discovery of glass Natural glass has existed since the beginnings of time, formed when certain types of rocks melt as a result of high-temperature phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, lightning strikes or the impact of meteorites, and then cool and solidify rapidly. Stone-age man is believed to have used cutting tools made of obsidian (a natural glass of volcanic origin also known as hyalopsite, Iceland agate, or mountain mahogany) and tektites (naturally-formed glasses of extraterrestrial or other origin, also referred to as obsidianites).
According to the ancient-Roman historian Pliny (AD 23-79), Phoenician merchants transporting stone actually discovered glass (or rather became aware of its existence accidentally) in the region of Syria around 5000 BC. Pliny tells how the merchants, after landing, rested cooking pots on blocks of nitrate placed by their fire. With the intense heat of the fire, the blocks eventually melted and mixed with the sand of the beach to form an opaque liquid.
This brief history looks, however, at the origins and evolution of man-made glass.
5000 BC

A craft is bornThe earliest man-made glass objects, mainly non-transparent glass beads, are thought to date back to around 3500 BC, with finds in Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia. In the third millennium, in central Mesopotamia, the basic raw materials of glass were being used principally to produce glazes on pots and vases. The discovery may have been coincidental, with calciferous sand finding its way into an overheated kiln and combining with soda to form a coloured glaze on the ceramics. It was then, above all, Phoenician merchants and sailors who spread this new art along the coasts of the Mediterranean.
3500 BC

The oldest fragments of glass vases (evidence of the origins of the hollow glass industry), however, date back to the 16th century BC and were found in Mesopotamia. Hollow glass production was also evolving around this time in Egypt, and there is evidence of other ancient glassmaking activities emerging independently in Mycenae (Greece), China and North Tyrol.
16th century BC

Early hollow glass productionAfter 1500 BC, Egyptian craftsmen are known to have begun developing a method for producing glass pots by dipping a core mould of compacted sand into molten glass and then turning the mould so that molten glass adhered to it. While still soft, the glass-covered mould could then be rolled on a slab of stone in order to smooth or decorate it. The earliest examples of Egyptian glassware are three vases bearing the name of the Pharaoh Thoutmosis III (1504-1450 BC), who brought glassmakers to Egypt as prisoners following a successful military campaign in Asia.
1500 BC

There is little evidence of further evolution until the 9th century BC, when glassmaking revived in Mesopotamia. Over the following 500 years, glass production centred on Alessandria, from where it is thought to have spread to Italy.
9th century BC

The first glassmaking "manual" dates back to around 650 BC. Instructions on how to make glass are contained in tablets from the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (669-626 BC).
650 BC

Starting to blowA major breakthrough in glassmaking was the discovery of glassblowing some time between 27 BC and AD 14, attributed to Syrian craftsmen from the Sidon-Babylon area. The long thin metal tube used in the blowing process has changed very little since then. In the last century BC, the ancient Romans then began blowing glass inside moulds, greatly increasing the variety of shapes possible for hollow glass items.
27 BC-AD 14

The Roman connectionThe Romans also did much to spread glassmaking technology. With its conquests, trade relations, road building, and effective political and economical administration, the Roman Empire created the conditions for the flourishing of glassworks across western Europe and the Mediterranean. During the reign of the emperor Augustus, glass objects began to appear throughout Italy, in France, Germany and Switzerland. Roman glass has even been found as far afield as China, shipped there along the silk routes.
It was the Romans who began to use glass for architectural purposes, with the discovery of clear glass (through the introduction of manganese oxide) in Alexandria around AD 100. Cast glass windows, albeit with poor optical qualities, thus began to appear in the most important buildings in Rome and the most luxurious villas of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
With the geographical division of the empires, glass craftsmen began to migrate less, and eastern and western glassware gradually acquired more distinct characteristics. Alexandria remained the most important glassmaking area in the East, producing luxury glass items mainly for export. The world famous Portland Vase is perhaps the finest known example of Alexandrian skills. In Rome's Western empire, the city of Köln in the Rhineland developed as the hub of the glassmaking industry, adopting, however, mainly eastern techniques. Then, the decline of the Roman Empire and culture slowed progress in the field of glassmaking techniques, particularly through the 5th century. Germanic glassware became less ornate, with craftsmen abandoning or not developing the decorating skills they had acquired.
AD 100

The early Middle AgesArchaeological excavations on the island of Torcello near Venice, Italy, have unearthed objects from the late 7th and early 8th centuries which bear witness to the transition from ancient to early Middle Ages production of glass.

Towards the year 1000, a significant change in European glassmaking techniques took place. Given the difficulties in importing raw materials, soda glass was gradually replaced by glass made using the potash obtained from the burning of trees. At this point, glass made north of the Alps began to differ from glass made in the Mediterranean area, with Italy, for example, sticking to soda ash as its dominant raw material.

Sheet glass skillsThe 11th century also saw the development by German glass craftsmen of a technique - then further developed by Venetian craftsmen in the 13th century - for the production of glass sheets. By blowing a hollow glass sphere and swinging it vertically, gravity would pull the glass into a cylindrical "pod" measuring as much as 3 metres long, with a width of up to 45 cm. While still hot, the ends of the pod were cut off and the resulting cylinder cut lengthways and laid flat. Other types of sheet glass included crown glass (also known as "bullions"), relatively common across western Europe. With this technique, a glass ball was blown and then opened outwards on the opposite side to the pipe. Spinning the semi-molten ball then caused it to flatten and increase in size, but only up to a limited diameter. The panes thus created would then be joined with lead strips and pieced together to create windows. Glazing remained, however, a great luxury up to the late Middle Ages, with royal palaces and churches the most likely buildings to have glass windows. Stained glass windows reached their peak as the Middle Ages drew to a close, with an increasing number of public buildings, inns and the homes of the wealthy fitted with clear or coloured glass decorated with historical scenes and coats of arms.
11th century

VeniceIn the Middle Ages, the Italian city of Venice assumed its role as the glassmaking centre of the western world. The Venetian merchant fleet ruled the Mediterranean waves and helped supply Venice's glass craftsmen with the technical know-how of their counterparts in Syria, and with the artistic influence of Islam. The importance of the glass industry in Venice can be seen not only in the number of craftsmen at work there (more than 8,000 at one point). A 1271 ordinance, a type of glass sector statute, laid down certain protectionist measures such as a ban on imports of foreign glass and a ban on foreign glassmakers who wished to work in Venice: non-Venetian craftsmen were themselves clearly sufficiently skilled to pose a threat.

Until the end of the 13th century, most glassmaking in Venice took place in the city itself. However, the frequent fires caused by the furnaces led the city authorities, in 1291, to order the transfer of glassmaking to the island of Murano. The measure also made it easier for the city to keep an eye on what was one of its main assets, ensuring that no glassmaking skills or secrets were exported.

In the 14th century, another important Italian glassmaking industry developed at Altare, near Genoa. Its importance lies largely in the fact that it was not subject to the strict statutes of Venice as regards the exporting of glass working skills. Thus, during the 16th century, craftsmen from Altare helped extend the new styles and techniques of Italian glass to other parts of Europe, particularly France.
14th century

In the second half of the 15th century, the craftsmen of Murano started using quartz sand and potash made from sea plants to produce particularly pure crystal. By the end of the 16th century, 3,000 of the island's 7,000 inhabitants were involved in some way in the glassmaking industry.

Lead crystalThe development of lead crystal has been attributed to the English glassmaker George Ravenscroft (1618-1681), who patented his new glass in 1674. He had been commissioned to find a substitute for the Venetian crystal produced in Murano and based on pure quartz sand and potash. By using higher proportions of lead oxide instead of potash, he succeeded in producing a brilliant glass with a high refractive index which was very well suited for deep cutting and engraving. 1674

Advances from FranceIn 1688, in France, a new process was developed for the production of plate glass, principally for use in mirrors, whose optical qualities had, until then, left much to be desired. The molten glass was poured onto a special table and rolled out flat. After cooling, the plate glass was ground on large round tables by means of rotating cast iron discs and increasingly fine abrasive sands, and then polished using felt disks. The result of this "plate pouring" process was flat glass with good optical transmission qualities. When coated on one side with a reflective, low melting metal, high-quality mirrors could be produced.
France also took steps to promote its own glass industry and attract glass experts from Venice; not an easy move for Venetians keen on exporting their abilities and know-how, given the history of discouragement of such behaviour (at one point, Venetian glass craftsmen faced death threats if they disclosed glassmaking secrets or took their skills abroad). The French court, for its part, placed heavy duties on glass imports and offered Venetian glassmakers a number of incentives: French nationality after eight years and total exemption from taxes, to name just two. 1688

From craft to industryIt was not until the latter stages of the Industrial Revolution, however, that mechanical technology for mass production and in-depth scientific research into the relationship between the composition of glass and its physical qualities began to appear in the industry. Industrial Revolution

A key figure and one of the forefathers of modern glass research was the German scientist Otto Schott (1851-1935), who used scientific methods to study the effects of numerous chemical elements on the optical and thermal properties of glass. In the field of optical glass, Schott teamed up with Ernst Abbe (1840-1905), a professor at the University of Jena and joint owner of the Carl Zeiss firm, to make significant technological advances
.Another major contributor in the evolution towards mass production was Friedrich Siemens, who invented the tank furnace. This rapidly replaced the old pot furnace and allowed the continuous production of far greater quantities of molten glass.
late 19th century

Increasing automationTowards the end of the 19th century, the American engineer Michael Owens (1859-1923) invented an automatic bottle blowing machine which only arrived in Europe after the turn of the century. Owens was backed financially by E.D.L. Libbey, owner of the Libbey Glass Co. of Toledo, Ohio. By the year 1920, in the United States, there were around 200 automatic Owens Libbey Suction Blow machines operating. In Europe, smaller, more versatile machines from companies like O'Neill, Miller and Lynch were also popular.
Added impetus was given to automatic production processes in 1923 with the development of the gob feeder, which ensured the rapid supply of more consistently sized gobs in bottle production. Soon afterwards, in 1925, IS (individual section) machines were developed. Used in conjunction with the gob feeders, IS machines allowed the simultaneous production of a number of bottles from one piece of equipment. The gob feeder-IS machine combination remains the basis of most automatic glass container production today.

Modern flat glass technologyIn the production of flat glass (where, as explained earlier, molten glass had previously been poured onto large tables then rolled flat into "plates", cooled, ground and polished before being turned over and given the same treatment on the other surface), the first real innovation came in 1905 when a Belgian named Fourcault managed to vertically draw a continuous sheet of glass of a consistent width from the tank. Commercial production of sheet glass using the Fourcault process eventually got under way in 1914.
Around the end of the First World War, another Belgian engineer Emil Bicheroux developed a process whereby the molten glass was poured from a pot directly through two rollers. Like the Fourcault method, this resulted in glass with a more even thickness, and made grinding and polishing easier and more economical.

An off-shoot of evolution in flat glass production was the strengthening of glass by means of lamination (inserting a celluloid material layer between two sheets of glass). The process was invented and developed by the French scientist Edouard Benedictus, who patented his new safety glass under the name "Triplex" in 1910.

In America, Colburn developed another method for drawing sheet glass. The process was further improved with the support of the US firm Libbey-Owens and was first used for commercial production in 1917.

The Pittsburgh process, developed by the American Pennvernon and the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (PPG), combined and enhanced the main features of the Fourcault and Libbey-Owens processes, and has been in use since 1928.

The float process developed after the Second World War by Britain's Pilkington Brothers Ltd., and introduced in 1959, combined the brilliant finish of sheet glass with the optical qualities of plate glass. Molten glass, when poured across the surface of a bath of molten tin, spreads and flattens before being drawn horizontally in a continuous ribbon into the annealing lehr.

ConclusionAlthough this brief history comes to a close nearly 40 years ago, technological evolution naturally continues. Not yet ready to be "relegated" to a history of glass are areas such as computerized control systems, coating techniques, solar control technology and "smart matter", the integration of micro-electronic and mechanical know-how to create glass which is able to "react" to external forces.