East Falls Glassworks

   Quarisa Master Class


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EFG Hosts Maestro Quarisa

From June 30, 2006 through July 2, East Falls Glassworks was priviledged and honored to host Maestro Elio Quarisa for the Glassworks' premiere master class workshop. The class was attended by local glass blowing students who were inspired by Elio's mastery of the the medium. This was the first workshop of its kind at our facility, but will not be the last. You can see pictures of some of the work Elio made during the workshop here.

We are extremely thankful that Elio shared his glassblowing techinques with us at East Falls Glassworks. We thank Tony Biancaniello for his expert assistance to Elio and translating for the class. You can see more of Tony's work on this web site. Thanks also go to Reed Aphagian for hosting the class dinner at his (excellent) restaurant, The Astral Plane.

About Elio Quarisa

Elio started working in the Murano glass factories at nine years of age. In 1949 he was hired at the Barovier & Toso glass studio where he worked for 27 years. He left as an affirmed Primo Maestro. Since then he's worked with a number of the great studios and designers on Murano, including the studios: Seguso Vetri D'Arte, Venini, Moretti Ulderico, Vetreria De Mayo and Elite. He currently lives on Murano and travels the world teaching to the next generation of glass blowers. More information and pictures of Elio are available on his website.

Wide Variety of Techniques

During his first visit to Philadelphia, Elio demonstrated many techniques of Venetian style glass blowing. He focused on the creation of thinly blown, intricately styled drinking goblets, but made some larger work as well. He made a number of 'animal-stemmed' goblets, including a dolphin, a swan, a seahorse and a dragon. Additionally, he demonstrated the reticello technique to create a web-like coloration (details here). A large and elegant Veronese vase was also made.

Public Demonstration

Saturday, July 1st, happened to correspond with the scheduled date of our July open house. We opened Elio's class demonstrations to the public and were happy to share a small part of the experience with local glass enthusiasts. There was a nice crowd and it was really great to share the excitement with a larger audience.

Intensive Class

The class was intensive, Elio started his demonstrations at 9:00, lunch was brought in and served from noon till 1:00. The studio was open for the students to make work after lunch until about 8:00 each evening. Elio stayed around for questions and supervision until 4:00.

Studio Facilities

East Falls Glassworks is proud that we were able to meet the Maestro's needs for a studio facility and equipment. The class was an unqualified success with no problems or equipment failures. We put in extra hours before his arrival, building the two small gloryholes for him to use and making some tweaks to other equipment to better meet his needs; it was really nice to see our efforts pay off in the work he made during the class.