Carl Radke - Art Glass

Carl was one of the vanguard of young artists who participated in the Renaissance of American Art Glass in the early 1970’s. Originated by Tiffany in 1881 and popular during the early part of the nineteenth century. Luster Art Glass had fallen out of favor around 1925 and had practically become a lost art. The art programs of several California universities began to rekindle an interest in Silver Lustre art Glass specifically. In the later part of the 60’s several of the young artists became fascinated by the medium and caught up with the challenge of re-discovering the complex and sophisticated art form.

Lustre Glass is a very specialized glassblowing medium because of the silver content in the glass. It has always been one of the most costly forms of glass ever produced. In addition to the high cost of raw materials used in Lustre Glass other factors prevent this volatile studio glass from being mass-produced in a large factory environment. The raw glass can only be maintained in the furnace for a short period of time before the color, quality and texture of the glass batch begins to degenerate. Not only the specific formulas and high raw material cost, but also the experience and technique of maintaining this volatile form of glass in a usable state, has kept the blowing of this particular glass in the hands of a few skillful artisans. The glass blower must be a chemist as well as craftsman to work successfully in the medium.

Carl is one of only a few glassblowers out of the thousands in the US. Who continues to work in this difficult and traditional glass. His skill with glass and glass decoration has allowed him to “play” with the medium and to develop this unique collection.

Carl Radke’s glass has been displayed in numerous galleries and exhibitions since Phoenix was created in 1975, and is considered to be highly collectable.

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