What You Should Know About the Art Glass Market

Shop for ocean glass art. Get to know more about your options as well as the art and how it started.

Art glass pieces can add just the right touch of whimsy, color, and interest to a room. If you’re a collector and you love nothing more than searching for perfect pieces that will look right at home in your interiors, start browsing through art glass sculptures and pieces. Before you shop around, make sure you’re well aware of what to look for. Here are things you need to know before you jump into the art glass market.

Art Glass and Studio Glass

Before you go any further, you’ll need to know the difference between art glass and studio glass. Art glass artists typically do work that’s known in their communities. They send those pieces to galleries. They meet up with collectors. And because it’s an art form for them, they continue to improve their work. Studio glass, on the other hand, is glass that is more functional than conceptual. It’s decorative and can be used as an architectural element. Knowing that, as you move forward, will help you shop around for the right ocean glass art for your home.

How Glass Sculpture Started

The practice of using glass for artistic expression dates back to Mesopotamia in 3500 B.C., though some historians might argue that it started in Egypt. Beads were the earliest known examples of this, which were created by accident. They were working with forged metals and were using that as a currency. From being used as a currency, though, glass turned into a luxury item and then soon became architectural décor. That’s where today’s art sculptures come from.

Art Glass: Cost and Worth

Many of the best art glass artists were undervalued during their lifetime, and so their works weren’t priced properly. Some of this was also caused by the belief that some collectors held, thinking glass was easily damaged, so paying too much was out of the question. It wasn’t until June 2016 when a piece at the Wright auction was sold for $18,750, going over the pre-sale estimate at $10,000 to $15,000.

Collecting Glass: How to Start?

If you’re new at this, you might want to look at the following questions to help you build your collection. Aside from the basics—that is, checking the background of the artist, the exhibition history, and more—these questions can help you expand on what to look for, or essentially what to ask when you find yourself in front of a piece of art glass, trying to decide if you should buy it or not.

  • Do you like it? That’s the first question you need to ask. Buying a piece just because you think it’s a good investment, but you aren’t invested in it emotionally isn’t good practice. There are so many stellar pieces around. If you’re throwing your support behind an artist, pick someone who makes you feel something.
  • Is it within your budget? Art glass doesn’t have to be expensive. You can go with simple options from shops. That should give you a good start.

It is in good condition? Before you buy anything, make sure it’s in excellent condition. Check the glass for bubbles.