Answered By: Regan Brumagen
Last Updated: Oct 23, 2016     Views: 108

Glass Sculpting:

A number of hot glass sculpting techniques exist. Some of these are: bit sculpting, massiccio sculpting (sculpting in the mass), working inside the bubble, and "aprima"(completing an entire sculpture without reheating).  

The following link provides an array of information about specific artists and techniques in hot glass sculpting from the Rakow Library.

This quote, related to the information contained in the Rakow guide, may aid in beginning some of your research: “A new genre emerged in the 1930s: that of the plastic work in glass, of the glass sculpture.  This took the form of reproductions of animals and plants in blown or solid glass, hot molded in the furnace, which obligated the glassblowers of Murano to invent new methods and processes, pioneered by Napoleone Martinuzzi” – Glass Throughout Time pg. 47

Since your question about the history of glass sculpting contains many possible facets, I’ve just included an overview of to get you started in your research.  As you continue your research, please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions or clarifications so that we can best provide you with the information you need.


 In response to your inquiry about trick glasses:

At the end of the 16th century, trick or puzzle glasses became popular in Europe, particularly in Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands. These were often in the shape of blown-glass animals attached to a glass tube, placed vertically on the inside of a glass or goblet. Holes in the animals and elsewhere were used like a straw to suck the liquid from the glass. The “trick” was to cover all but one of the holes with a finger, otherwise no liquid would rise in the tube. Many other shapes were also employed in the making of trick glasses, like boots, or creative and unusual twisted shapes. As far as I can tell, sculpted and blown trick glasses followed the same historical trajectory.


Attached is a bibliography of works about trick glasses for your further research.

If you wish to obtain copies of any of the items in our list, please contact your local library. Additionally, the Rakow Research Library is a member of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC); your library can contact us through OCLC or they may mail an Interlibrary Loan form to us. You may request up to five items at a time. We send photocopies of articles and microfiche copies of our books (if they have been microfilmed) through Interlibrary Loan for four weeks use. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any additional questions.