The video shows the vessel being made in a sequence of steps, one of which includes the use of a full-size blow-mold. The manufacturing process for the lid is then shown.


The vessel consists of three parts. This is the gathering of the body. The body of the vessel is rather large and it requires two full gathers of glass. This is the first gather. It's been blocked and the bubble is blown in. The second gather is created. The block is used to perfectly shape the glass. The bubble is blown larger and the tip is rolled back and forth on the marver to chill it. This will result in the lower portion of the vessel being a little thicker than the upper portion. Using the rubber blow hose, air is blown into the blowpipe. The bubble gets larger and the jacks are used to create a broad constriction. And this will articulate the vessel body from the neck. Nearest the blowpipe, a tight constriction is made and this will enable the vessel to be broken free of the blowpipe later in the process. A decorative thread is wrapped around the upper part of the body and a grooved roulette tool is used to create a denticulate pattern. A tiny bit of glass is added and impressed with an embossing tool. This creates the raspberry prunt. After reheating, the vessel is held upward so that gravity creates a more oblate spheroid shape.

The lowermost part of the vessel is made slightly conical and this will make it easier to center the next element: and that is a bit of glass added and tooled to form a merese. The face of the merese is left slightly conical, and this will make it easier to center the next bit. A two-part ceramic mold, thinly lined with soot, is used to create the lion mask stem. A bubble of glass is lowered into the mold. It's closed, it's blown forcefully, and immediately lowered into place on the tip of the merese. The two stick together. A constriction is made. This creates the lower part of the stem. The excess glass is broken away, leaving a clean edge. Another bit is added and another merese is made. A third bubble of glass is added from above. This will become the foot. It's inflated, cut free of its blowpipe, and after having been reheated, the tip is pulled and a constriction is formed. This constriction will allow a hole to be created and the edge of the hole will become the edge of the foot. The foot is reheated and the edge dilated to a diameter of about an inch and a quarter. The soffietta (or puffer) is used both to inflate the diameter of the foot and to cool the lower part of the stem. During this reheat the stem unavoidably softens.

The vessel foot has a folded edge (a double thickness) and this is created by pushing the edge in slightly. The dilation begins and it creates a double thickness. This is both attractive and it makes the vessel edge much thicker. The foot is given its final shape. It's straightened. And after flashing the entire piece in the furnace, the punty (or pontil) is added. A teeny bit of glass is put on the end of the metal rod. The tip is blown to cool it slightly and the neck broken. The edge is reheated, dilated to a diameter of about an inch and a half. The entire upper portion of the vessel is reheated and the soffietta (or puffer) is used to reshape the entire neck area. With multiple reheats and tooling with the jacks, the upper portion of the vessel is given its final shape. The diameter of the edge is carefully measured and this will allow the making of a lid that fits. The vessel is lowered into the annealing oven and the punty tapped slightly with the pincers.

The lid begins with a considerably smaller amount of glass. The glass is inflated, a constriction made between the blowpipe and the bubble, and as the bubble is inflated, it's pulled at its end to elongate the whole construction. Another constriction is made on the tip and excess glass will be broken away. After reheating, the uppermost part of the vessel lid is given its shape. Air is blown in as the jacks are used to refine the form. As was the case with the vessel body, a decorative wrap is added and the roulette used to create the denticulate pattern. And like the vessel, bits are added and impressed with the embossing tool to create raspberry prunts.

The finial (or top of the lid) is made in two parts. The first part is made with the lid attached to the blowpipe. Here is a merese. A small bubble of glass (lowered into a dip mold or an optic mold) is lowered onto the top of the merese, slightly inflated, cut free of its blowpipe. Decorative constrictions are created and the outer constriction allows the breaking away of excess glass. Another merese is added. At this point, the lid is transferred to the punty (or pontil). After reheating, the flange is begun. The hole is dilated to about an inch. The glass is reheated and the soffietta used to reshape the entire shoulder. After another reheat, the tips of the jacks are used to push into the glass to form a ridgeline. The outer portion is pushed upward and this forms a ring of air. The parchoffis are wooden jacks soaked in water, are used to increase the diameter of the upper part of the lid while gradually expanding the diameter of the flange. Of course, the goal is to make a lid that fits the vessel perfectly. The lower part of the flange is given a taper, similar to that of the upper portion of the vessel.

So that the finial can be completed, another punty is placed. It's broken free of the first punty, and a tiny gather of glass added from above. This will be the topmost part of the finial. A broad constriction is made. The glass is pulled outward. The lid is given a final flash in the furnace so that when it goes in the annealing oven, all parts are the same temperature. A tiny tap breaks the lid free of the punty.

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object information
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clear lidded vessel, etched
small map highlighting austria
Place Made:
Austria, Tyrol, probably Innsbruck, Court Glasshouse
about 1570–1591
H. 31.9 cm; Diam. (rim) 10.5 cm, (base) 8.5 cm
Accession Number:
The Corning Museum of Glass (68.3.21). Gift in part of Arthur A. Houghton Jr.

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