Pâte de verre, noun.

Pate de verre

Pâte de verre is a glassmaking technique in which a paste is made from ground glass before being molded into shape. The item is then fired, creating glass that has a translucent, soft-edged finish. It’s a kilncasting method that literally translates to “paste of glass”. If the phrase appears French, that’s no accident. Pâte de verre as a process was invented in France in the 19th century. It’s a casting technique that – like glassblowing, which was invented around 50 BC – only works with glass. It allows subtle gradations of color like no other glassworking process.

The item pictured here is One of a number of fine examples of European art glass that came up for bid at John Moran Auctioneers’ Traditional Collector Auction, held June 20th in Monrovia, Calif. The Daum pâte de verre “Amaryllis Magnum” vase, in ombre blue and green, achieved $5,313, square within its pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$6,000. It’s easy to see, looking at this truly lovely large-scale vase, why the pâte de verre process has been so popular since its invention.  Pâte de verre is sometimes used as a noun, to describe opaque, dense glass having a frosted surface.