French cameo glass of Emile Galle and the Daum brothers

Discussion in 'Pottery, Glass, and Porcelain' started by Gregory R, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Gregory R

    Gregory R Member

    Emile Galle and the Daum brothers were the chief proponents of French cameo glass during the Art Nouveau period from 1890 to 1920. The glass was called “cameo glass” because it was built up with different colored layers and cut back with acid to reveal beautiful floral or scenic designs. First the glass was covered with an acid resist (wax). Then a glass artist carved the design into the resist, followed by immersion in hydrofluoric acid. The acid ate away the glass wherever the resist was removed. The longer the immersion in the acid, the more glass was eaten away. The wax was then melted away and a new layer applied. The process was then repeated. Each successive acid cutting added a layer of detail and possibly color if the vase had enough layers. The success of the vase depended largely on the skill of the artist.

    During the 1910′s, the Art Nouveau period was losing popularity and the Art Deco period was starting to take hold. Many of the vases produced during this period are called “transitional”. They have elements of both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. By the 1920′s, the Art Deco movement was getting into full swing. Emile Galle died in 1904. The Galle factory couldn’t keep up with the changes and went out of business. Daum kept changing with the times. They produced some beautiful work during this period. Daum has been able to change with the times to the present day. They are still in business and producing beautiful contemporary glass. During the Art Deco period, Charles Schneider and René Lalique produced the finest glass.
    Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Louis Comfort Tiffany was
    producing his style of Art Nouveau glass – incredible iridescent wares. Tiffany borrowed some of the techniques of the French glass makers, such as wheel-carving and applications, but he had his own ideas. Frederick Carder (Steuben), Martin Bach (Quezal) and others joined Tiffany in producing their distinctive styles of American Art Nouveau glass while the French were producing theirs.
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