Artwork of the Week: September 19

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Ancient Roman, Bowl. 1968.87

Ancient Roman, Bowl. Multi-colored glass canes; fused and slumped, mosaic (ribbon) glass technique, cast, interior firepolished, exterior rotary-polished, late 1st century BCE -early 1st century CE. Rim Diam: 3 3/8 in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1968.87. Glass Pavilion Gallery 5

The brilliant blues, reds, and greens of this “ribbon glass” bowl imitate the colors of semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli, carnelian, and emerald. Ribbon glass involves assembling sections of colored glass canes (flattened glass rods) and fusing them into a variety of forms. The craftsman created a striped mosaic pattern by laying canes of solid colors in parallel rows, separated by lengths of filigree canes, to form a disk. Once the multi-colored disk was fused, the glassworker finished the edge by wrapping a hot cane with a spiral twist around its rim, and then slumped the disk (heated it until it softened enough to sag) over a hemispherical mold.


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