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Flos Glo-Ball: Molten Dust

Piombino Dese, a drab industrial town between Venice and Verona, has many small glass companies, including Vetrerie New Glass, founded by Franco Pellizzon in 1991 and one of several Glo-Ball suppliers. Pellizzon trained as a glassblower but saw no future for himself in the craft; he wanted to industrialize the process.

Workers at the facility begin the manufacturing process by dipping a hollow, stainless steel pole into a mass of molten glass. Through a delicate process of adding air, shaping against a cast-iron mold, and triple-dipping, the blowers build up a layered ball.

Piombino Dese, a drab industrial town between Venice and Verona, has many small glass companies, including Vetrerie New Glass, founded by Franco Pellizzon in 1991 and one of several Glo-Ball suppliers. Pellizzon trained as a glassblower but saw no future for himself in the craft; he wanted to industrialize the process.

At Vetrerie New Glass, two warehouses surround a gravel yard, where the globes are lined up on cartons like eggs, shining despite the clouds. The glass technicians dip five-foot-long stainless steel poles into a transparent molten-sand mixture. A spherical shape is created by pressing a handheld cast-iron mold against the 800-degree-Celsius glass, which
rotates against the mold as the pole spins. The mold can only withstand a few seconds of heat before it needs to be dunked in water. After each pass against the mold, the glass is dipped into a white mix, adding another layer to the outside. The resulting hollow blob—–its skin like a sandwich of clear bread with white filling—–represents the completion of the first stage.

  • <h2><a href="http://www.dwell.com/articles/glo-ball.html">Glo-Ball</a></h2><p></p>We head into a northern Italian factory to track lighting luminary Flos's production of Jasper Morrison's best-selling series of Glo-Ball orbs.<p></p><p></p>Featured in the

    Flos Glo-Ball

    Designers and manufacturers bemoan the profusion of cheaply made copycats, but it’s been proven time and again that truly great design can never be obscured by poor imitation. For evidence, look no further than the Italian lighting company Flos, which debuted Achille Castiglioni’s Arco in 1962 and watched it become the most-copied and best-selling lamp in the company’s history. Thirty-six years and many iconic products later, Flos produced another sensation—Jasper Morrison’s glass-and-steel Glo-Ball—which overtook the Arco as the best-selling series of lamps in the Flos catalog. Dwell recently visited the Glo-Ball manufacturing facility, which was, it must be said, inimitable.

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