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
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.
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.
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.
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.