Art Deco was a huge influence on styles and designs in the Roaring 20s, and just as with today’s trends, style choices from the with-it crowd reached the mass markets a little later. In the case of glassware, especially depression glass which was mass-produced and mass-marketed, the Art Deco trend influenced pattern designs into the early 1930s.
This Block Optic sugar bowl shows the combination of round, angular and square geometric shapes. I love this look!
We will focus on pink Block Optic in this series, but I have only a few photos to share and will need to pull in pictures of green and yellow glass too.
The pattern itself is smooth on one side with the only design coming from the optic on the reverse side. Remember an “optic” in glassware is a pattern that was pressed from the plunger. Goblets and tumblers have the vertical optic on the inside giving the look of squares. Hocking’s Block Optic plates and bowls have the design on the top of the plate or interior of the bowl.
You may find a few pieces which have gold or silver trim, but otherwise the regular undecorated pieces have only the interesting contrast of shape and optic for their pleasing look.
I like Block Optic. I like the plethora of shapes, the lovely clear colors and the simple designs. I’m drawn to mold-etched patterns, like Cameo or American Sweetheart, but Block Optic is timeless and I found I liked it more and more over time. The pattern is subtle and you will find something interesting and appealing each time you see it; it won’t grow old or stale.
You can mix and match Block Optic. Consider using multiple colors of Block Optic in a table setting or for decorative pieces, or include Block Optic with other patterns. It plays well with others.
If you are like me you may find the pattern simple and unassuming at first, but over time, as you see it again and again, you will find the design is strong. I believe it is the combination of geometric shapes that makes it seem both mild-mannered and bold.
Consider Block Optic compared to other strong geometric patterns like Columbia or Windsor. The other designs can appear clunky, overly heavy, while Block Optic always feels light and free.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but since I’m the beholder (at least when writing these posts), I’ll give it a score of 9 for Beauty and Design Appeal.
What do you think?