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Glass Dictionary B

baluster: A type of drinking glass, principally of English manufacture, with a baluster stem, that is, one with the swelling form characteristic of the architectural feature from which it takes its name. Variations of the baluster stem are numerous: sometimes the baluster is inverted; sometimes it is decorated with knops and tears.

balustroid: A type of baluster glass but with a lighter, more elongated stem. Balustroids are usually found on glasses made in Newcastle.

bar: A single piece of glass formed by fusing several canes or rods. A bar can be cut into numerous slices, all with the same design, to be used as inlays or appliques, or in making mosaic glass.

barilla: A plant of salt marshes in the Mediterranean region, gathered particularly in the vicinity of Alicante, Spain, and burned to make a soda ash formerly used instead of potash as the alkali in the making of glass.

Baroque glass: Combines clear glass with one or two colors in a swirling pattern.

base ring: A ring of glass added to the base of a vessel after its body has been made.

batch: A mixture of measured raw ingredients which, when melted and fused in the melting pot, will produce glass.

battledore: A glassworker's tool in the form of a square wooden paddle with a handle. Battledores are used to smooth the bottoms of vessels and other objects.

bear jar: A 19th-century Anerucab pressed glass jar in the form of a bear, probable for bear grease.

best medal: The highest quality batch of glass made by a company using the purest ingredients and highest lead content.

Beveled glass: has a surface with interior corners cut at an angle and finished.

blank: A glass object intended to be decorated, prior to the decoration being applied.

Blankschnitt: Literally, polished cut. A style of engraved decoration found on German potash glass, particularly Nuremberg glassware, in which the relief effect is enhanced by the polish given the ground part of the intaglio.

bleeding glass: A small cup in which a partial vacuum is created for cupping.

blobbing: The technique of decorating hot glass by dropping onto the surface blobs of molten glass, usually of a different color or colors.

block: A block of wood hollowed out to form a hemispherical recess. After it has been dipped in water to reduce charring and to create a "cushion" of steam, the block is used to form the gather into a sphere, prior to inflation.

blowing: The process of shaping molten mass of glass by blowing air into it through a blowpipe.

blown three-mold glass: Glassware made in America between 1815 and 1835 that was blown in a full-size mold that (despite the popular name) consisted of between two and five pieces.

blowpipe: A metal tube used to gather a blob of molten glass through which air is blown by the glass-maker into the glass to shape it.

borsella: A tonglike tool used for shaping glass. The borsella puntata has a pattern on the jaws, which is impressed on the glass.

borosilicate glass: The original heat resistant formula for glassware that contains boric oxide. It was developed by the Corning Glass Works for more durable railroad lantern lenses as well as battery cases. It was adapted to Pyrex kitchenware in 1915.

bottle glass: An unrefined, naturally colored (green brown) glass used for making early glass bottles in England in the mid-seventeenth century.

brilliant-cut: A style of cut glass with very deep, complex and highly polished cutting, developed in the USA in the latter half of the century.

broad glass: Sheet glass made by cutting the ends off a long bubble of blown glass, then cutting and flattening the resultant cylinder.

bull's-eye pane: A glass pane with a pontil mark surrounded by concentric ridges. This was the central part of a large pane of crown glass.

burmese glass: A type of translucent pink-shading-to-yellow Art Glass made by the Mount Washington Glass Company in New Bedford, Massachusetts, between 1885 and about 1895.

burner: The part of a lamp where the flame is produced.

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