Reticello Platter

Reticello Platter

This video shows the making of a reticello platter with a folded edge.


The reticello process begins with making the canes.  We see a cane of white glass that is thickly covered with clear.  It is covered again with clear.  It is covered a third time.  Reticello canes traditionally have a very thick layer of clear and a very thin thread of white glass in the center.  The tip of the mass is cooled in water, a post is attached to the other end of the gather, and it is drawn.  Pulling canes like this can sometimes take a 30- or 40-foot length.  The finished diameter is about seven millimeters.  The canes are cut into lengths of about five inches.  The canes are placed on a ceramic plate that has been covered with kiln wash to act as a release material.  Glass is gathered on a blowpipe, and a post is created.  The post will be the correct diameter for picking up the canes.  The canes are gradually reheated in the furnace until they become slightly soft.  They are pressed together to ensure that they are fused to form a matrix.  The post is kept hot at the mouth of the furnace, and the canes are rolled up on it.  The gap is closed.  After reheating, marvering ensures that the matrix is perfectly round.  The end must be closed to allow glassblowing to take place.  Excess glass is trimmed free, and with repeated reheating and marvering, the glass is prepared for blowing.  The twist begins on the marver.  The end is held, the blowpipe is twisted, the end is pulled to create a cylindrical cup.  The uppermost part will become the bottom of the cup.  The tip will become the open end of the cup.  The glass is thin and must be reheated frequently.  An opening is made at the end of the bubble by creating a constriction and knocking free the excess glass.  This will become the upper rim of the cup—the outer part of the reticello.  The soffietta is used to shape the glass, and the cup is given its final form.  The cup is broken free of its blowpipe, placed in a holder in an annealing oven.  The process is repeated, but this time, the twist is made in the opposite direction.  The inner part is lined thinly with clear glass by lowering a bubble in, inflating it, and breaking it free of its blowpipe.  This is called the sbruffo technique.  This will become the upper surface of the platter.  The bubble is lowered into the cup, blown hard, and the two fused together.  The inner surface of the cup and the outer surface of the bubble are rough, and at the intersection of every four, bubbles are formed.  After reheating and marvering, glassblowing begins to create the platter.  A constriction is formed between the reticello setup and the blowpipe.  Excess glass on the end is trimmed free.  The platter begins as an oblate spheroid.  The bottom is flattened; air is blown in to make the diameter increase.  This is transferred to the punty (or pontil), the neck is broken, and the opening is reheated.  The soffietta is used to make the bubble even broader at the shoulder.  The platter has an inner folded lip.  The base diameter is increased somewhat.  Finally, centripetal force is used to spin the platter open.  Small adjustments can be made at this last moment with the jacks.  The finished platter is lowered into the annealing oven, the punty tapped gently, and the platter breaks free.

object information
Decorative Technique(s):
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Accession Number:
Overall H: 3.2 cm, Diam (max): 33.9 cm
probably 1575-1725
Place Made:
Venice, Italy

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