28 February 2005
One of the features that distinguishes glass from other materials, such as metals, is the way in which it solidifies. Solidification takes place slowly, going from a temperature of 1400° C, where the gas is in a fluid state, to a temperature of 500° C. It is in this period of time that the glass is worked. The glass is manually prepared with the Murano glass working technique. The craftsman collects some melted glass on the end of a hollow metal tube, called the blow pipe, and he blows into it, creating a bubble or "ball". The "ball" is blown into again, and it is shaped with wooden spatulas and tongs, thus creating a pre-shaped piece of glass which is ready to be blown into a metal mould [a]. When the master glassblower considers his work finished, the glass diffuser is taken on the blow pipe to the kiln and when it is inside it, it is detached from the end of the pipe. It then remains in the kiln for many hours.