Ferdinand II Beaker

Ferdinand II Beaker

The video shows the making of the vessel body and a small blown-foot with a folded edge. At the end of the glassblowing processes, a fin-mold is used to transform the upper-half of the vessel and the rim from a round to hexagonal shape.


The vessel was made in two parts: the cup and the foot. This is the gather for the cup. The glass is elongated with gravity and briefly rolled along on the brass table, the marver. Air is blown in and the bubble is left with a thick tip. And this is rolled back and forth on the marver to cool it slightly. After a reheat, the tip is plucked outward, a constriction begun near the blowpipe and, using the rubber tube (called the blow hose), air is blown in while work is accomplished on the end.

The diameter of this vessel has to be carefully monitored for the mold used at the end of the process to work properly. The constriction is made (well-articulated), the excess glass on the end knocked off, and the lower part of the vessel is given its final shape. The vessel is slightly tapered with the diameter at the base carefully monitored to fit the mold. The bottom is given a slight conical shape. This will make it easier to center the foot. And the foot is a separate bubble of glass delivered to the site from above, lowered in place, cut free of its blowpipe.

A constriction is made; this will result in a hole at the end of the bubble. The edge of the hole will become the edge of the foot. The diamond shears are held in place, the pincers are used to tap off the excess glass. After a reheat, the hole is opened to a diameter of about an inch. The entire foot is slightly softened and the soffietta (or puffer) used to inflate the foot bubble. The edge is given a fold. The edge is pushed inward, then dilated, and this results in a double thickness of glass. It's both attractive and it's much stronger.

The site where the punty (or pontil) will be placed is cooled. And the punty (or pontil: a metal rod with a little bit of molten glass on the end) is stuck on the bottom, the neck broken, and the uppermost part reheated. The hole is opened to a diameter of about an inch and then a constriction is made and a flare is formed. After another reheat, the flare is pulled, and this thins the uppermost part of the vessel. Another constriction is formed and broken, and this breaks away the thicker glass. It will ultimately leave the edge very thin. The diameter is opened to a little bigger than an inch. The entire upper half of the vessel reheated, and the soffietta is used to reshape the entire upper third or so of the vessel. After a reheat, the final opening process begins.

The vessel is given a slight conical shape with a slightly flared edge. The entire vessel reheated, and the fin mold is used to create the octagonal shape. The object is placed into the annealing oven, the punty tapped lightly, and this breaks the punty free of the vessel.

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Place Made:
Austria, Innsbruck
H. 20.2 cm, Diam. 12 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (KK 3302). Photo: KHM-Museumsverband

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