Core-Formed Glass

    The earliest container glass vessels were of the core-formed type, which originated in New Kingdom Egypt and Mesopotamia around 1500 BC.  The technique was later revived in Classical and Hellenistic Greece.  It involved making a removable core of mud, clay or sand built up in the desired shape of the vessel around a metal rod.  The core was then either dipped in molten glass or threads of hot glass were wound about it.  The vessel was then rolled upon a flat surface to refine and smooth out the shape.  Decorations, such as zigzags, were created by dragging a comb-like implement along the surface while it was still hot.  Handles, necks, rims and feet were fused on separately.  Finally, the core and metal rod were removed.  The main shapes of core-formed vessels, including the alabastron (elongated flask), amphoriskos (small amphora), and the oinochoe (juglet), show Greek influence.  Given their small size, the primary function of these vessels was likely to hold perfumes.  The main centres for the production of these vessels were likely Egypt, Syria and Greece.



    "Duckhead" Alabastron