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.
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.