The Art of Glassmaking: Background information when reading Glass House

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Glass House

The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town

by Brian Alexander

Glass House by Brian Alexander X
Glass House by Brian Alexander
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2017, 336 pages
    Jan 2018, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Art of Glassmaking

Glass BlowingAt one point in Glass House, Brian Alexander describes his childhood experience of peering into one of the glass manufacturing plants in his home town: "Nuns had spent years engraving images of hell on my imagination. The flames shooting out of the squat stack on the roof, the white-red glow of the furnace inside, the gray shadows of the men hoisting their gatherers to collect glass from the inferno sure looked like hell." Even in the twenty-first century, glassmaking is a hot and sometimes dangerous occupation, one with a history that is thousands of years old.

Mesopotamia GlassAccording to a (scientifically dubious) account by the Roman historian Pliny, glassmaking was discovered accidentally, when Phoenician sailors heated their cooking pots and discovered the fire's heat had turned beach sand into glass. In reality, glassmaking was likely developed in ancient Mesopotamia in roughly the third millennium BCE as artisans applied high-heat techniques from ceramics or metalworking to other ...

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