Workshop: glassless glassblowing

2013

Performance at Museo del Vetro di Empoli on 3rd February 2013, documentation: video & audio (2min 34s)

Muscle memory is very important when talking about glassblowing: the steps of blowing for instance a regular tumbler are learnt by observation, imitation, and repetition. To learn to blow the mentioned regular tumbler, the glassblower has to repeat the same steps of making so many times that later in his life a skilled glassblower does not have to consciously think about the steps but they come from his muscle memory. When a glassblower does not have the possibility of practising his profession anymore, a huge amount of information and knowledge is lost - or at least it becomes passive and potentially disappears. In the era of widely accessible information this seems very calamitous.

I organised a workshop for three Tuscan glassblowers (Giancarlo Prosperi, Sanseverino Franco and Sergio Serra) at the Museo del Vetro di Empoli in Empoli, Italy to mimic the movements of glassblowing without glass and tools. This video is a documentation of one of those acts/exercises.