Enamelled glass

Enamelled glass is glass which has been decorated with vitreous enamel (powdered glass, possibly mixed with a binder) and then fired to fuse the glasses. It can produce brilliant and long-lasting colours, and be transparent, translucent or opaque. Generally the desired colours only appear when the piece is fired, adding to the artist's difficulties.

It is similar to vitreous enamel on metal surfaces, but the supporting surface is glass. It is also close to "enamelled" overglaze decoration on pottery, especially on porcelain, and it is thought likely that the technique passed from metal to glass (probably in the Islamic world), and then in the Renaissance from glass to pottery (perhaps in Bohemia or Germany).


Glass may be enamelled by sprinkling a loose powder on a flat surface, painting or printing a slurry, or painting or stamping a binder and then sprinkling it with powder, which will adhere.[1] As with enamel on metal, gum tragacanth may be used to make sharp edges.

Some modern techniques are much simpler than historic ones.[2] For instance, there now exist glass enamel pens.[3]

Enamelled glass is often used in combination with gilding. Mica may also be added for sparkle.[1]

Enamelled Venetian glass was called smalto.


Mosque lamps are made of enamelled glass. They generally have lugs, from which they are suspended to light not only mosques, but also similar spaces such as madrassas and mausoleums.[4] They have a religious symbolism based on the Quranic verse of light, with which they are often calligraphed.[5]

During the European Renaissance, expensive enamelled goblets were used as courtship and marriage gifts. These goblets were rarely used, and some have survived.[6]

Glass painting involves painting on glass, with glass, making the finished work transparent. Glass fusing is similar, but powders are not mixed into a paintable paste first; however, the result is similar.[7]

See also



  1. "How to Enamel". glass-fusing-made-easy.com. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  2. "All About Glass - Corning Museum of Glass". www.cmog.org. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  3. http://images.delphiglass.com/assets/Free%20EBook%20-221524.pdf
  4. User, Super. "Mosque Lamp". www.mia.org.qa. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  5. Collection, The Wallace. "The Wallace Collection - What's On - Treasure of the Month". www.wallacecollection.org. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  6. "Goblet - V&A Search the Collections". collections.vam.ac.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  7. "Glass Fusing Classes". glassenamels. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  8. "Examining the enamel on the Aldrevandini beaker". British Museum.
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