Flos Glo-Ball: Cool and Cut

Vetrerie New Glass can make 18 Glo-Balls per hour—Pellizzon keeps the operation tight in order to guarantee exceptional quality. The balls sit in a slow-cooling kiln for two hours; otherwise, they crack. With a fine abrasive cutting wheel, a young man slices off the parts that cling to the pole during the blowing process. A series of sanders and buffers make the aperture perfectly round and smooth: A flattener removes coarseness outside the cut, and a pointed sander that resembles a witch’s hat rubs out the circular opening.

Quality control is overseen by several women—the only female employees in the factory. They place the globes over a fluorescent bulb mounted on a rotating plywood sheet and check for nicks and discolorations. Vetrerie New Glass then transfers the globes to a local etcher, who dunks them into a corrosive hydrofluoric-acid solution that removes the shine and makes the outer surface matte—crucial for diffusion and durability.

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