Incalmo glass

The «incalmo» technique consists of setting up tiers of two different colored parisons in a single piece. Very exacting, this process requires the execution of two separate parisons which are opened, shaped and precisely measured to create identical circumferences. The parisons are then grafted onto each other by two skilled glassblowers who carefully line up the edges to form a perfect suture. This operation can be repeated as necessary to add a third color, «a doppio incalmo».

Orizzonti set of six glasses. Incalmo glass.
Image. Orizzonti set of six glasses. Incalmo glass.

This exceptional technique, which demands experienced artisans, first appeared in Venice in the XVIth century. Incalmo is yet another Venetian innovation to spread throughout the European art glass world, as illustrated in Emile Gall’s «vase cornet»(shown below), even if the Venetians have always retained supremacy in incalmo. In the mid XXth century, for example, the custom glass masters of Venice continued to develop their specialty with superb «con incalmo» vases for Carlo Scarpa, «a doppio incalmo» for Riccardo Licata or Thomas Stearns, as well as for the Finnish designer Tappio Wirkala.

Incalmo Glass Gondola by Victor Chiarizia.
Image. Incalmo Glass Gondola by Victor Chiarizia.
Incalmo Glass Gondola by Victor Chiarizia.
Image. Incalmo Glass Gondola by Victor Chiarizia.