|Giving form to the molten glass
For me, giving form to the mass that glows from the heat is a joy. I do it naturally. What I like the most about the work in the furnace is the fire–the element that changes the material. I always analyze the harmony of the shapes, their softness, their smoothness and their delicacy. I always have this desire to caress the glass–to shape it with my hands–
the one thing that is obviously impossible. This is why I have invented il guanto di carta bagnata (the wet paper glove technique) which allows me to put my hands as close as possible to the molten glass. Other glassmakers use this technique and they call it palla di carta (paper ball).
Of the many apprentices I have had, many have not attained recognition. And that is because they preferred the economical rewards rather than the laborious, exhausting exploration into creativity that can give fruit only with time. The most important school one can have is the workshop where the glass is worked manually. At seventeen and a half I was already primo maestro. My advice to the young is to always think how rebellious, stubborn, and untamed the glass is. To work it you need to make it your accomplice–you have to bend to it and understand it by anticipating what it wants to do. In this way, you give birth to the piece without forcing it.