Painting glass in the early European style -Venice

I recently was thinking of stuff I did long ago, and if it could apply to my medieval bent. I remembered being in Chicago at the Art Institute last year, where I saw some medieval and Renaissance painted glass beakers from Germany and Italy. I thought of how I had painted things on glass (I once even had a paying commission for two martini glasses with a whimsical city theme!) But mostly I painted silly things for my own amusement – very happy root vegetables, rabbits, birds on phone wires….

But today at the craft store there were glass paints on clearance so I bought them, and sat down tonight with some pictures to inspire me, and here’s what I got from tonight’s try of a long-forgotten thing. I am pretty clumsy and have forgotten the nice ratios I used to have to thin the enamel, but hey, there it is….

I used the Aldrevandini beaker in the British Museum collection as my inspiration, since it’s mostly leaves, frankly, and not finely detailed pictures of people doing something fun or useful. I think I can almost handle leaves. A photo of it is at the bottom.

Thanet glass, front view
I used heraldry as a motif, like the original glass. Though mine is a little more wonky.
Thanet glass, side view
I used the floral and leaf motif from the original as well, and yes, they are parti-colored in the original one as well.
Thanet glass, side detail
Detail of flower-leaf-thing.
Thanet glass, three quarter view
Side-ish view of the jar, with leaves. The little yellow flowers are in the original as well.
Practice jar, painted enamel in the Venetial style
I used a jam jar for practice, especially fitting since it's one I am often teased about by a house brother, because I use it for the dragging about of cordials (I just hate corks for stuff you have to keep re-corking! Just give me a gol-darned screw top, period be dashed!) So I blinged it up Thanet style.

This is the piece which was the inspiration for the work. It’s obviously a totally different style of glass, not a jam jar, and it really shows that I need to thin out the enamel somewhat to get a finer line to work with, but overall, I think it’s not the worst start of things, given the last time I picked up a paint brush.


The Aldrevandini Beaker - British Museum
The Aldrevandini beaker is a uniquely well-preserved example from a group of glass vessels produced in Venice at the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth century.


More to come, surely.