Murano Mondays: Incalmo Glass

Howdy, folks!  Today I’d like to introduce you to incalmo Murano glass.  Incalmo, which originated in Venice, is the technique of layering separate sections of glass in order to create a multi colored effect in a finished piece, usually appearing as banding.  Fine incalmo pieces will be fused in such a way that the surface is smooth and appears as a single piece of glass.  It’s a very difficult technique to master and as a result, incalmo glass often demands very high prices at auction.  Image

This vase is an early Venini piece, circa 1930s, by Carlo Scarpa (photo: Antique Helper)


1950s Incalmo AND latticino vase by Fulvio Bianconi for Venini Glass (photo: Antique Helper)

Surprising to some, Finnish design masters Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva both designed incalmo glass pieces for Venini.




The three pictures above are Bolle incalmo glass bottles designed by Tapio Wirkkala in 1968 for Venini.  The last photo shows a close up of the incalmo technique. (photos:


“Aava” decanter by Timo Sarpaneva for Venini glass, circa 1990 (photo: Antique Helper)


Incalmo bottle Timo Sarpaneva for Venini, circa 1990 (photo: Antique Helper)

The following examples below are all done by Murano maestro Lino Tagliapietra.  Born in Murano in 1934, Tagliapietra was a prodigy who was apprenticed to famous Murano glass maestro Archimede Seguso by age 12.  By age 25 he had earned the rank of maestro and worked for several of Murano’s most important glassmakers including Venini, Galliano Ferro, and Effetre International where he was artistic director from 1976 to 1989, as well as collaborating with Steuben Glass Works in the US.  He studied under Dale Chihuly in the 1960s.  Tagliapietra is very influential in the modern art glass movements in Italy, US, China, and Japan and his work is highly sought after.  (Thanks, wikipedia!)


Absolutely amazing incalmo Hopi Vase by Lino Tagliapietra with caning in all three sections, 2001


Another incalmo vase in pink by Tagliapietra for Effetre International, circa 1982 (photo:


An incalmo lamp in the same pink palette by Tagliapietra for Effetre International, circa 1982.  This lamp is extremely rare and was made in a limited edition of 100.  I am very pleased to have this extraordinary piece of glass in my current shop inventory.  As far as I have been able to determine, it is likely only the fourth lamp in the edition to come up for sale in the past 8 years.


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