Thursday، 19 May 2016 12:00 AM
It is certain that the ancient Egyptians were the first to invent the making of glass since the days of the fifth dynasty. This can be proved by beads, eyes of statues, glassware and ovens used in the making of glass found in Thebes dating back to the reign of king Amenhotep II in the twelfth dynasty.
The manufacture of glass in Egypt greatly developed during the Roman era as a result of industrial progress. Glass artisans in Egypt invented a pipe for blowing glass in the air, and then they used to blow glass in a mould. The two methods are still used in Egypt in manual glass. For the first time in history, the manufacture of window glass-panes and ceramics came to be known by the ancient Egyptians.
During the Toulonic era, Egyptian glass was affected by Iraqi glass to some extent so that its forms came to be like what is called ’postSasanic’ metallic forms containing Kufi writing and names of emirs.
The Fatimed era was famous for the manufacture of art objects made of rock crystals which came to be linked with the making of glass though it is a natural and not a man - made material used in sculpture and engraving without being part of the glass industry. During the Fatimid era, glass artisans made a kind of thick glass in imitation of rocky crystals and embellished it by cutting. Thirteen cups of thick glass in the shape of a bucket known as St. Aldwich cups are still existing.
Glass in the Ayubite Era:
The same Fatimid methods were adopted by the Ayubites in whose era the industry of glass flourished in Egypt and Syria. During that era, it became common to ornament glass vessels with mica coated with gold. One of the most important qualities of raw glass decorated with mica was its greenish or yellowish or violet in color.
Glass in the Memeluki Era:
Among the most important glass vessels coated with mica that started to appear during the Ayubite era and spread throughout the Memeluki era were pending lamps and glass covers of lamps decorated with gold and multicolored mica.
Plastered Glass in the Coptic Civilization:
Throughout the stages of Coptic art, we find several distinct artistic products one of which is the art of glass mixed with plaster resulting in objects with artistic and geometric tinge which has a symbolic touch far from representing living human beings.
Plastered Glass in the Islamic Civilization:
The Moslem artist used plastered glass in the windows of mosques through which light penetrates into the mosque reflecting colors thus giving the inside of the mosque an atmosphere of woe, quietude and veneration. These designs were confined to plant drawings in which the Moslem artist used his skill to create, in addition to flowers and abstract geometrical units, birds and animals. His interest in this type of art emanated from his deep religious sense together with a complete control of aesthetic principles, which are subject to spiritual artistic factors, and the realization of laws of balance, opposition, analogy and plunging into the essence of things looking for new forms to be skillfully implemented with a view to diffusing pleasure and enjoyment.
Glass was also used in making Ramadan lanterns which children held happily. These lanterns are linked with the blessed month of Ramadan.