Glass was the most versatile material known to the Romans. No other substance could better imitate such a vast range of materials in shape, colour and design. Indeed, when soft, glass can be lengthened, widened or compressed in infinitely more ways than is possible with metals. The discovery of the extraordinary versatility of glass came towards the middle of the I century B.C. thanks to the combination of two innovative elements: the use of blow pipes and the construction of furnaces capable of reaching temperatures high enough to render sand fluid.
The material’s almost miraculous fluidity when hot, along with the unlimited possibilities it offers to transform its shape by blowing, lengthening, widening and narrowing the mouth of the object after it has been removed from the blow pipe, constitute a source of endless fascination for both the glassblower and viewer.