Glass Vases

The Roll-Up Technique: Bringing the Vase Series to Life

“It does not matter what material we use. We need the technique, and we need the idea. And then we need the poetry, the love that transforms the material into a piece of art.” – Lino Tagliapietra

“I do not invent anything new; I personalize something… And that makes it something that nobody has done before.” – Lino Tagliapietra

For centuries, glass has been regarded as a luxurious material, admired for its versatility and beauty. Artisanal craftsmen have used it to create functional vessels, ornamental sculptures, and intricate jewels. In its molten state, glass can capture light, color, and shape in ways challenging to replicate with other materials. Mr. Ryan Staub, a glass artist from Seattle, has partnered with me to bring the Vase series to life. We applied the Roll-Up technique and performed it at Pacific Art Glass studio facilities in Gardena, CA.

Have you ever seen the intricate patterns and designs on a glass object and wondered how they were made? The technique used to create them was likely roll-up. It involves combining two methods: fused glass and glassblowing.

In a fused glass, pieces of glass are cut and shaped, then heated in a kiln until they fuse together. The resulting piece is a solid piece of glass with a smooth, uniform surface.

Glassblowing, on the other hand, involves heating a gathering of molten glass on the end of a blowpipe, then shaping it using tools and techniques such as blowing, marvering, and shaping with jacks. The resulting piece is a hollow, blown glass object with a more organic, uneven surface.

In the roll-up technique, a sheet of fused glass is heated until it becomes pliable, then it is placed on top of a gather of molten glass on a blowpipe. The glassblower then uses tools and techniques to roll the fused glass into the gather, incorporating it into the blown glass object. This can create intricate patterns and designs on the surface of the glass object as the fused glass is rolled and manipulated.

Roll-up is a challenging technique requiring a high level of skill and experience in fused glass and glassblowing. It is often used to create decorative and functional pieces such as bowls, vases, drinking glasses, and stemware.

Working with glass is truly a magical experience. After all, glass is solid, liquid, and transparent all at once! It’s incredibly delicate, yet when I work with it in the kiln or glory-hole, I often get the feeling that something else is at play. Every time I open the oven, the outcome has a mysterious aura to it – as if a secret hand has touched the glass. It’s always a thrilling surprise!