How'd They Do That?

How'd They Do That?

How’d They Do That? are specially themed Hot Glass Shows offered during the summer months.

Many of today’s glassmaking techniques have been used by glassmakers for thousands of years. In How'd They Do That? shows, the Museum’s master glassmakers look at an object from the Museum’s collection and show you how the original glassmakers made that piece. Find out how Roman glassmakers made the gladiator cup, or Venetian glassmakers made the dragon stem goblet.

Techniques Demonstrated

Dragon

Dragon

  • A typical fanciful goblet created during the 17th century, the "golden age" of Venetian glass
  • Formed in three parts and assembled hot during the final stage
  • A form showcasing the talent of the glassmaker, still a benchmark piece for aspiring glassmakers today
Handkerchief

Handkerchief

  • Made by the famous Venini Glasshouse in the mid 20th century on the island of Murano
  • Uses zanfirico canes to create an interwoven pattern of delicate colored lines
  • Gets its name, "Fasaletto" or Handkerchief vase, from its undulating form and the four points trimmed in the rim
Lily Pad Pitcher

Lily Pad Pitcher

  • Made 1830 - 1850 in an upstate New York glasshouse
  • An example of "off-hand" work done on their own time by glassmakers who worked in window and bottle factories
  • Features swoops of glass that create the unique "lily pad" effect
Roman Ewer

Roman Ewer

  • Made 50-75 A.D. in a Roman glasshouse
  • Features a stamped Bacchus (the god of wine) at the base of the handle
  • Has a flattened and contoured handle glassmakers call a "Roman handle"
  • The Romans had begun blowing glass just 100 years before this piece was formed