Last Updated: May 22, 2018 Views: 167
Thank you for your question! Yes, wood was used in ancient glass furnaces. Mark Taylor and David Hill's website The Glassmakers provides information on re-creating and using ancient glass furnaces. Their Roman Furnace Project from 2005 and 2006 featured a wood-fired glassworking furnace. Their website includes information about history and techniques, along with their other projects. Two articles on the Roman Furnace Project were also featured in the Journal of Glass Studies in 2008: "Experiments in the Reconstruction of Roman Wood-Fired Glassworking Furnaces" by Hill and Taylor and "Waste Products and Their Formation Process" by Sarah Paynter. A brief video was produced as well, Roman Furnace ([S.l.]: Bye Jones Productions, 2005) demonstrating glassblowing at the lit furnace.
Image: Woodcut of glassworkers at a furnace from
Georg. Agricola, Berckwerck Buch (Gedruckt in der
keyserlichen Reichssstatt Franckfort am Mayn:
Getruckt durch P. Schmidt in Verlegung Sigmundt
Feyrabendts, 1580). CGML 66820.
The following items might also be of interest (links are to records in the Rakow Library catalog unless otherwise noted):
- Dries, F. M. A. van den. The Roman Glass Furnaces Project at Velzeke. Tilburg, [The Netherlands]: F.M.A. van den Dries, 2009. Notes: Mark Taylor and David Hill contribute. Contents include sections on "The fuel," "Preheating in October," and "Stoking in November."
- Dries, F. M. A. van den. Romeins glas in Noord-Brabant. Tilburg, [The Netherlands]: F.M.A. van den Dries, 2010. Note: Reconstruction of a Roman glass furnace based on archaeological finds in Hambach, Germany.
- Ennion and His Legacy Mold-Blown Glass from Ancient Rome. Corning, N.Y.: Corning Museum of Glass, 2015. DVD. Note: Video, "How was mold-blown glass made?" (on this DVD) was filmed at the Roman-style wood-fired furnace, Villa Borg, Germany, 2014, in memory of David Whitehouse. Glassmaking demonstrations by Mark Taylor and David Hill, assisted by François Araud; filmed by David Hill & Manuela Arz and edited by Ryan Denissoff, William Gudenrath & Amy Schwartz.
- Fischer, Alysia. Hot Pursuit: Integrating Anthropology in Search of Ancient Glass-Blowers. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008. Note: Chapter on "Experimenting with Furnaces."
- “Glassmaking at Tell el-Amarna.” Glass, Monthly Journal of the European Glass Industry 76, no. 11 (Nov. 1999), SGT News (Society of Glass Technology), pp. 1-2.
- Lauwers, Veerle, Patrick Degryse, Jeroen Poblome, and Marc Waelkens. "Le verre de Sagalassos, de nouvelles preuves d’une production locale." Eclats de verre. Bulletin de l’association française pour l’archéologie du verre (2005): 26-29. Note: Excavation of a late Roman furnace and analysis of Roman and Byzantine glass fragments.
- Nicholson, Paul T., and Ian Shaw, eds. Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. Cambridge University Press, 2000. Note: Glass, pp. 195-224.
- Riffaud-Longuespe, Philippe. "Aube: Troyes gallo-romain." Archeologia 416 (2004): 48-59. Note: Includes mention of glassmaking and illustration of a furnace.
- Shepherd, John. “Reconstructing a Roman Furnace.” Glass News, no. 2, Winter 1996: 6.
- Taborelli, Luigi. "Un antico forno vetrario ad Ancona." Picus 18 (1998): 219-24. Note: Description of the ancient furnace.
- Waggoner, Shawn. “Working Greener: Angus Powers: Resurrecting the Roman Furnace.” Glass Art 30, no. 5 (Sept./Oct. 2015), pp. 18-22, ill. Note: Profile of the glass artist and his work using updraft wood-fired primitive furnaces.
You may also be interested in the digital version of The Art of Glassmaking, 1751-1772; A Portfolio of Prints from the Diderot Encyclopedia (Corning, N.Y.: Corning Glass Center, [1960-1970]), which depicts 18th-century glassworkers using a wood-fired furnace. In 2012, the Equinox Gaffers documented their visit to The Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey, and their chance to see a working wood-fired furnace in a CMoG blog post. Finally, below is a video posted on the CMoG YouTube channel that features former curator David Whitehouse discussing an ancient Egyptian furnace.