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European Virtual Training Centre
for glass arts and techniques

Italy Hot sculpting


By Silvana Gubetta, translated by Joanne Vanin

The solid glass sculpting technique came about in Murano alongside the style of the 1900s. Development of the process during the course of the 20s gave preference to solid and volumetric form and to a classical realism. If up until that time the technique was always viewed with suspicion because it did not figure in the traditional realm of production, it now found its own determined advocate in Ercole Barovier.

Nevertheless, the first examples of massello production, which were modeled by Napoleone Barovier, date back to the end of the 20s. He had modeled an animal in solid glass in 1928. In the period 1925-1930, nudes were also executed in solid glass following the designs of Giovita Vitali. The process of modeling free form sculptures in glass starting with compact masses of cast glass was already being developed with continuity by Alfredo Barbini and Archimede Seguso in the 30s. Alfredo Barbini investigated the material of glass and its possible plastic art expressions. He gave form to those experiences working along side sculptor Napoleone Martinuzzi, modeling a series of sculptures in hot glass that, through various devices, became opaque.

Another excellent sodality consisted of Flavio Poli and Archimede Seguso who gave rise to new plastic art forms during those years.

Works of the second half of the 1900s worth mentioning are those created by Ermano Nason and Loredano Rosin. Rosin’s brother Dino inherited the legacy.

Among other protagonists of more recent years that stand out are the two artists Livio Seguso and Luciano Vistosi who investigated the material of glass through diverse expressive forms.
Numerous Murano glass artists that are recognized at an international level for their competence and innovation stand out in the present day.

The differences defined by the research that is taking place now do not allow for the inclusion of all those artists involved that, by right, by now belong to the recent history of the island.