FIVE SATIN BLUE BEAD NECKLACE. All beads are set with sterling silver components and findings, some handmade. Note some beads are frosted while others are acid polished. All jewelry photographs by William Glasner.

William Glasner

glass arts



William Glasner is a relative latecomer to glass jewelry, having worked in blown glass since the late 1970s; widely exhibited, his vases are in a number of museums worldwide. A graduate of the University of Rochester, he apprenticed in studio glass at the Rochester Folk Art Guild, learning the trade primarily from Steuben gaffer Joe Viselli, a head glassblower. His studio in Victor, New York, is a converted dairy barn while his home, a former farmhouse, dates from 1830. When visiting Venice in 1982, he discovered the battuto technique of faceting or carving glass, as he realized that the feathers in some glass ducks he had seen were done with this Italian method. (See Ornament 31.1, 2007 for Laura Bowker’s battuto lampwork ornaments.)

Subsequently, Glasner applied this to his glass sculptures and vessels. Since 2005, using his 1967 German glass lathe, he has scaled down his glass art to jewelry proportions, producing a range of necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and earrings, simply and elegantly set with sterling silver components. His traditionally-blown cane beads are made from a crystal light barium formula glass from Sweden, encasing colored Kugler glass; the crystal is imported for his own use and also sold to other glass artists. This barium glass is denser, has a higher index of refraction than lead glasses, is more brilliant and is also softer, a decided advantage with the battuto technique. Glasner also casts some pieces.



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