While the factories were closed, a very limited amount of glassworking—principally beads and common drinking vessels—apparently continued. It was not until the middle of the 19th century that concrete signs of a revival in the glass industry can be detected. Pietro Bigaglia, Domenico Bussolin, and Lorenzo Radi were associated with the revival of filigrana techniques and the making of calcedonio, a Venetian specialty glass that imitates chalcedony (Figs. 35 and 36). By 1867, when Venetian glass was shown at the world’s fair in Paris, most of the skills displayed in earlier years had been regained.16 The work of this period is both intricate and well made. For two distinct reasons, though, many of the working practices were now markedly different from the ways of the Renaissance maestros.17
History of Venetian Glassblowing
Revival and Continuing Influence
In the 20th century, well into the 1970s, Venetian glass was again famous for the excellence of its design and craftsmanship. This was a period of great invention, utilizing and adapting many of the traditional techniques, especially filigrana. It was also a time when maestros began to influence design to a greater degree. Probably for the first time in the long history of Venetian glass, the names of maestros, including Archimede Seguso and Alfredo Barbini, became known outside Venice.18
Artists in the worldwide Studio Glass movement who have focused on glassblowing have benefited greatly from the teaching of a number of Venetian maestros. Operating very much against tradition, Gianni Toso, Checco Ongaro, Lino Tagliapietra, Elio Quarisa, Davide Salvadore, Davide Fuin, and other Muranese masters have taught workshops in Venetian-style glassblowing around the world. Their efforts have had a profound and positive effect on the craft of traditional furnace glassblowing worldwide.