BIOGRAPHY OF CARL KRAFT: Carl Kraft is a little known glass artist, whose art works in glass are rather limited, of high quality, and a real find for collectors! He was a third generation glassblower; both his grandfather (in Sweden) and his father (in California) worked with glass their entire lives. At the age of five, Carl began to learn about glass from his father at his studio (the Kraft Glass Studio) in Bell Gardens, CA and eventually took over the studio from his father. In California, Carl primarily made high quality stemware that was sold throughout the country. In the late 1950s, the studio closed and he moved east and eventually settled in the Toledo, OH area where he was employed at the Owens-Illinois Technical Center of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. There he worked essentially as an experienced glass technician, developing glass formulas for different uses. At that time, he became friends with other glassblowers in the area, including Joe St.Clair and Dominik Labino among others, and he began to do more creative glasswork at his small home studio. In the mid-1970s he suffered a heart attack and had to retire from Owens-Illinois Glass, but a few years later he opened a small shop in Toledo, called the "Glass Apple", where he sold mainly his own handblown glass paperweights, vases, and some decorative stemware pieces. Carl Kraft loved glass and this is apparent in the quality of his work. He continued to work in his glass studio until his death in 1995 and according to his daughter (who now lives in Ocala, FL and from whom this information was obtained), glassblowing was his true love throughout his life; she feels this helped extend his life many years after he first became ill. All the Kraft items we have for sale came from his estate.
The glass in this gallery represents the various types of pieces Carl Kraft made through out his life and many are really historical pieces. They all came from his own collection and according to his family, many are one-of-a-kind pieces. Please visit our Kraft Glass Paperweight Gallery to view his paperweights.
|Kraft 1936: Classic Chinese red vase. This is one of the two earliest known piece of art glass made by Carl Kraft. Inscribed on the base: "Carl Kraft, 1936, Los Angeles, California". Height: 6". SOLD. (#J057)|
|Kraft 1936: Early mottled vase. White vase with orange mottling with a classic shape, which is one of two of the very earliest known pieces of artglass by Carl Kraft. . This vase has a height of 5½" and is inscribed on the base: "Carl Kraft, Los Angeles California, 1936". $135. (#J060)|
|Kraft 1949: Dolphin compote and matching candlesticks. Clear glass compote with a fanciful dolphin base with a slightly scalloped bowl and a matching pair of dolphin candlesticks. The dolphins on each piece have black glass eyes. Each piece has a gold "Kraft" paper label as well as signature inscribed on base ( "Kraft ‘49") and are early pieces from the Kraft Glass Studio in Bell Gardens, California. Compote: 7½" (H) x 6¼" (Diam.). Candlesticks: 5½" (H). $225. (#J074)|
|Kraft 1949: Yellow dotted artglass fish. Slightly ribbed glass fish with rows of yellow dots throughout and applied ventral fins. Signed (Kraft, 1949). Length: 9"; height: 5½". SOLD. (#J071) See matching pink dotted fish (#J072).|
|Kraft 1949: Pink dotted artglass fish. Slightly ribbed glass fish with rows of pink dots throughout and applied ventral fins. Unsigned. Length: 8"; height: 5½". $125. (#J072)|
|Kraft 1950: Cut glass sugar and creamer set. Early cut glass set from the Kraft Glass Studio in Bell Gardens, California. Note the thumb-print facets on the handles which match the facets on the rim of both pieces. The Kraft family told me that these are a one-of-a-kind prototype for this studio but were subsequently never made commercially. Each piece is signed and dated (Kraft ‘50). Sugar: 2" (H); creamer: 2½" (H). Condition: mint. $150. (#J056)|
|Kraft 1967: Red footed bowl. Attractive Chinese red footed bowl with a clear glass base. Signed (Kraft) and dated (‘67) on base in script. Height: 4 "; diameter: 6¼". $135. (#J058)|
|Kraft 1968: Blue striped footed pitcher. Decorative blue striped pitcher with clear glass applied handle and base. Made (after hours) while Kraft worked in Toledo at the Owens Illinois Technical Center as a glass chemist. Inscribed on base: "Carl Kraft, O. I. Tech. Ctr., 1968, Toledo, Ohio". Height: ~6½". $95. (#J055)|
|Kraft 1968: Ruby footed pitcher. Decorative red pitcher with light amber colored glass as a ruffled band around the throat, the handle and base. Made (after hours) while Kraft worked in Toledo at the Owens Illinois Technical Center as a glass chemist. Inscribed on base: "Carl Kraft, O. I. Tech. Ctr., 1968, Toledo, Ohio". Height: ~6¾". SOLD. (#J059)|
|Kraft 1975: Elephant figurine (large). Clear glass elephant figurine signed "Kraft ‘75". 4" (H) x 3¼" (L). SOLD. (#ZL618)|
|Kraft 1976: Small vase. Unusual clear glass vase with vertical green stems extending from a row of controlled bubbles near the base. Signed "Kraft ‘76". Height: ~3¾". $95. (#J054)|
|Kraft 1976: Angel figurine. Clear glass angel figurine (with red heart?). Signed: "Kraft ‘76". Height: 5½". SOLD. (#ZL620)|
|Kraft: Set of 4 cordial (liquer) glasses. Vintage set of cordial glasses with gold "Kraft" paper label from the Kraft Glass Studio in Bell Gardens California. Height: 4". SOLD. (#J087)|
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