Today’s going to be all glass, and actually all one piece of glass. On our second day in Venice, we watched a demonstration by Davide Salvadore and his team. Glassblowing almost always is a team effort, and everyone has a part. The studio was pretty small, our group was incredibly close – close enough to feel the heat – and my wife and I were in the front row.
This sequence picks up after the preliminary parts were done. The first thing they did was dip the pipe you see here into a furnace that was filled with molten clear glass to pick up the glass on the pipe in what’s called a gather. They blew a bubble through the pipe, shaped the glass into cylinder, and cooled it somewhat. (You can tell how hot glass is by the color – bright orange is really hot, and it gets closer to its real color as it cools.) Meanwhile, the little disks you see were laid out on a metal table and heated with a blow torch, because cold glass touching hot glass is a recipe for disaster. When the gather was shaped properly and cool enough, and the disks were hot enough, Salvadore rolled the cylinder on top of the disks, and they stuck to the cylinder.