Glass Artefacts & Manufacturing Techniques

Glass Artefacts &
Manufacturing Techniques

Glass is fascinating, unpredictable and timeless.
Techniques to manipulate, craft and sculpt this liquid material that crystallises into the finished shape are endless and vary by region and by craftsmen.

Join us on a journey to discover our glass manufacturing hot and cold techniques, from traditional glassblowing to silvered and cast glass.

HOT TECHNIQUES

Traditional Glassblowing

Traditional glassblowing is intrinsically connected to the craftsmen that shape the object as the strength of their arms and the size of their lungs will influence the size of a finished product, and its recipes and formulas are often kept secret and passed down generation by generation.

Ancient Craft

This technique takes its name from the action performed by the craftsmen when they blow air into a long metal cane attached to a piece of glass in order to expand and shape it into various shapes. This glassmaking tradition has remained unchanged for more than a thousand years.

Thanks to this ancient technique and to the experience and manual skill of the master glassmakers, a simple piece of glass is transformed into artistic masterpieces that are truly one of a kind.

Ancient Craft

This technique takes its name from the action performed by the craftsmen when they blow air into a long metal cane attached to a piece of glass in order to expand and shape it into various shapes. This glassmaking tradition has remained unchanged for more than a thousand years.

Thanks to this ancient technique and to the experience and manual skill of the master glassmakers, a simple piece of glass is transformed into artistic masterpieces that are truly one of a kind.

GLASS

Techniques

MURRINA

Dating back to the Phoenicians, the manufacturing of Murrina Glass is one of glass most laborious technique.
Murrina rods are cut in small pieces, in Italian ‘millefiori’ beads, and then placed into a copper frame, like a mosaic of different shapes and colours.
The composition is assembled into its frame by hand, so to create the desired shape or the design.
Murrina is not anybody’s job, it takes a skilled artisan patience and imagination to be able to create new patterns and combine together the colourful palette of Murrina Glass.
Once the composition is set, the frames are placed in the glass oven overnight so that the glass begins to melt increasing its thickness.

MURRINA

Dating back to the Phoenicians, the manufacturing of Murrina Glass is one of glass most laborious technique.
Murrina rods are cut in small pieces, in Italian ‘millefiori’ beads, and then placed into a copper frame, like a mosaic of different shapes and colours.
The composition is assembled into its frame by hand, so to create the desired shape or the design.
Murrina is not anybody’s job, it takes a skilled artisan patience and imagination to be able to create new patterns and combine together the colourful palette of Murrina Glass.
Once the composition is set, the frames are placed in the glass oven overnight so that the glass begins to melt increasing its thickness.

CANNE

Canne is an ancient technique that originated in southern Italy around the third century BC and was then developed further in Murano, centuries later. Cane are rods of glass which can contain a single colour or several colours organised in patterns. The canes are organised and lined up next to each other on a fire-resistant surface. The glassblower uses the blow tube full of moulted glass to collect them with one movement and finally blows them into an art piece. This technique is used to add intricate, often spiral, patterns and lines to blown glass objects. The result is an even more precious object due to the final effect and the difficulty of the execution.

CANNE

Canne is an ancient technique that originated in southern Italy around the third century BC and was then developed further in Murano, centuries later. Cane are rods of glass which can contain a single colour or several colours organised in patterns. The canes are organised and lined up next to each other on a fire-resistant surface. The glassblower uses the blow tube full of moulted glass to collect them with one movement and finally blows them into an art piece. This technique is used to add intricate, often spiral, patterns and lines to blown glass objects. The result is an even more precious object due to the final effect and the difficulty of the execution.

INCALMO

The Incalmo consists in heating the glass to combine two hand-blown shapes along their circumference in order to obtain one object in which different areas, usually in different colours, suggestively meet. The process, first practiced in the Islamic world in the Middle Ages, demands great precision because the edges of the adjoining elements must have precisely the same diameter.

INCALMO

The Incalmo consists in heating the glass to combine two hand-blown shapes along their circumference in order to obtain one object in which different areas, usually in different colours, suggestively meet. The process, first practiced in the Islamic world in the Middle Ages, demands great precision because the edges of the adjoining elements must have precisely the same diameter.

SOMMERSI

“Sommerso” is a technique in which layers of different coloured glass are trapped inside a single glass object, giving the illusion of a mass of colour been suspended inside a transparent outer layer. This is achieved by layering glass through heat and repeatedly immersing them in pots of molten coloured glass. The “Bullicante” glass is often considered a variation of this process. It consists of overlaying glass bubbles inside the main art piece as if small air bubbles were trapped inside it.

SOMMERSI

“Sommerso” is a technique in which layers of different coloured glass are trapped inside a single glass object, giving the illusion of a mass of colour been suspended inside a transparent outer layer. This is achieved by layering glass through heat and repeatedly immersing them in pots of molten coloured glass. The “Bullicante” glass is often considered a variation of this process. It consists of overlaying glass bubbles inside the main art piece as if small air bubbles were trapped inside it.

BALLOTTON

To create this beautiful 3d surface, the master glassmaker uses a special metal mould which has small pyramid-shaped tips with a square base all along the interior surface of its circumference. During the blowing process, the glass entirely fills the empty spaces in the mould and creates a particular optical effect of crossed relief.

BALLOTTON

To create this beautiful 3d surface, the master glassmaker uses a special metal mould which has small pyramid-shaped tips with a square base all along the interior surface of its circumference. During the blowing process, the glass entirely fills the empty spaces in the mould and creates a particular optical effect of crossed relief.

CAGED BLOWN GLASS

The glass maker blows the molten glass blob into a metal cage, which only partly contains the blob’s natural expansion. In this way, the glass surface is partly trapped by and partly escapes the cage.

CAGED BLOWN GLASS

The glass maker blows the molten glass blob into a metal cage, which only partly contains the blob’s natural expansion. In this way, the glass surface is partly trapped by and partly escapes the cage.

GLASS DECORATIONS

The glassblower applies these decorations on the surface of the art piece while still hot. The type of decoration and the design is chosen while the work is being blown and can range from small details the edge of the glass to the application of gold leaves on the whole object.

GLASS DECORATIONS

The glassblower applies these decorations on the surface of the art piece while still hot. The type of decoration and the design is chosen while the work is being blown and can range from small details the edge of the glass to the application of gold leaves on the whole object.

RIGADIN

This decoration is obtained by blowing melting glass into a special bronze mould. The mould is made of Triangular grooves which are transferred to the glass, creating ribbed appearance on the surface. If the glassblower twists the piece inside the mould, the surface will assume a twisting line geometry called Rigadin ritorto (Twisted Rigadin).

RIGADIN

This decoration is obtained by blowing melting glass into a special bronze mould. The mould is made of Triangular grooves which are transferred to the glass, creating ribbed appearance on the surface. If the glassblower twists the piece inside the mould, the surface will assume a twisting line geometry called Rigadin ritorto (Twisted Rigadin).

FILIGRANA

Filigrana is a decorative technique conceived between the 15th and the 16th century in Venice. Small crystal rods (canne) of glass are cut in pieces with equal length and placed close to each other and aligned on a metallic slab. The glassblower collects them with melted transparent glass and applying them following an axial symmetry or a series of spiralling curves. The canes are slightly softening inside the oven in order to create a compact cylinder, once this filigree draft is ready, work proceeds as for any blown artefact.

FILIGRANA

Filigrana is a decorative technique conceived between the 15th and the 16th century in Venice. Small crystal rods (canne) of glass are cut in pieces with equal length and placed close to each other and aligned on a metallic slab. The glassblower collects them with melted transparent glass and applying them following an axial symmetry or a series of spiralling curves. The canes are slightly softening inside the oven in order to create a compact cylinder, once this filigree draft is ready, work proceeds as for any blown artefact.

ICE GLASS

A Fascinating technique developed in Venice in the 16th century. The art piece is submerged when still very hot in cold water, the sudden temperature shift causes the surfaces to crack. The piece is then heated again to smooth the surface yet maintaining the crackle effect.A similar effect to this is obtained by rotating the hot piece on the metal slab covered with minute fragments of colourless or coloured glass, so that these particles, upon melting, stick to the surface of the glass.

ICE GLASS

A Fascinating technique developed in Venice in the 16th century. The art piece is submerged when still very hot in cold water, the sudden temperature shift causes the surfaces to crack. The piece is then heated again to smooth the surface yet maintaining the crackle effect.A similar effect to this is obtained by rotating the hot piece on the metal slab covered with minute fragments of colourless or coloured glass, so that these particles, upon melting, stick to the surface of the glass.

TEXTILE MOULDING

Textile moulded glass is achieved from blowing liquid glass into a folded and highly heat-resistant ceramic fabric vessel.
The resulting shape has a formal and textural expression intuitively associated with fabric, which becomes permanent and rigid as it cools.

TEXTILE MOULDING

Textile moulded glass is achieved from blowing liquid glass into a folded and highly heat-resistant ceramic fabric vessel.
The resulting shape has a formal and textural expression intuitively associated with fabric, which becomes permanent and rigid as it cools.

COLD TECHNIQUE

Silvered

Mercury silvered glass was produced originally around 1840 until at least 1930 in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic.
Referred to as ‘poor man’s silver’, silvered glass techniques and recipes are kept secret.
What we know is that the glass was blown double walled, then silvered between the layers with a liquid silvering solution composed of silver nitrate and grape sugar, heated again, then sealed.
Sealing methods include metal discs covered with a glass round or a cork inserted into the unpolished pontil scar.

COLD TECHNIQUE

Cast Glass

Cast glass has been used since the Egyptian time and it is generally manufactured by pouring molten glass into a mould where it solidifies. Modern cast glass is formed by a variety of processes such as kiln casting, or casting into sand, graphite or metal moulds.

COLD TECHNIQUE

Borosilicate Glass

Borosilicate glass is a type of glass that contains boron trioxide which allows for a very low coefficient of thermal expansion, and therefore withstands sudden changes of temperature.
This means it will not crack under extreme temperature changes like regular glass.
Because of its durability and resistance to chemical changes, borosilicate glass has traditionally been used in chemistry labs and industrial settings, as well as for kitchenware and premium wine glasses.

COLD TECHNIQUE

Hammered

This is the cold-crafting technique that most challenges the skill and delicacy of the master glassmaker.
The distinctive characteristic of Hammered glass is that its surface is sculpted by hand with a grinding wheel. This creates countless small and apparently irregular marks on the glass surface.

COLD TECHNIQUE

Engraving

Glass engraving encompasses a variety of techniques in which drawings and inscriptions are cut into the surface of the glass through abrasion. Glass engraving tools are very small abrasive wheels and drills, also tiny lathes often used. Sandblasting is another technique used in glass engraving. An abrasive agent is sprayed through a  gun on to glass. Only the areas of glass which are not masked up by a piece of stencil will be marked.