VIEW LARGER

Artist: Eastern Mediterranean/Possibly Phoenician
Title: Aryballos (Perfume Bottle), 499-450 B.C

Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.

SILICONSilicon Dioxide
SO2
Batch: Former

Contextual Information

To make glass, three types of ingredients are needed.  Together, these are called the batch. The most important ingredient is silicon dioxide (SO2), also known as silica. Sand is the most readily available source of silica for glass production. Silica makes up approximately 60-75% of most glass, and in the batch it is known as the former. Unlike other solids, when molten silica cools, its atoms bond in an irregular pattern. In this way, the structure of glass is like a liquid, but it is rigid like a solid.

Before the technique of glassblowing was invented, vessels like this one were probably made by dipping a form made of clay and dung into a pot of molten glass. Decoration was applied by trailing a thread of hot, colored glass around the surface.