One of epiphany’s signature pieces is the Splash bowl, which April Wagner has been creating with her team since the start of her career. They are whimsical objects resembling drops of liquid hitting a surface and bursting outward. Splash bowls are made using the fazzoletto technique, a freeform sculpting style created at the Venini Factory in the 1940’s and recently popularized in America by Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly. April used the fazzelletto technique as a starting point and then added her own unique method of glassblowing to create something unique and fresh. Keep reading to see how they’re made!
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This Blue & Green Splash Bowl is just one of many variations of this style vessel. The light green stripes paired with the cobalt interior creates an interest juxtaposition and contrast.
Like all glass pieces, Splash Bowls start out with a small gather of glass. It is rolled on this stainless steel table, called a marver, to smooth and shape the glass.
A bubble is blown through the blowpipe and it is again shaped on the marver. The marver cools the glass, which can help direct the air bubble and control how the glass expands.
The piece is taken to the bench and jacks are used to move the glass up the pipe and to shape it. A soffietta is used to blow air onto the glass and cool it in a particular spot.
Now that the initial shape has been created, bits of glass are applied to create a clear glass exoskeleton that will act as a base to the bowl. This is done freehand, which requires a great deal of skill. The exoskeleton is also a unique characteristic of our Splash Bowls!
Once the exoskeleton and base are completed, a punty is attached and the piece is flipped so the opening of the bowl can be worked on.
The opening of the Splash Bowl can be shaped now and a decorative rim is added with hot glass. You can see the clear exoskeleton on the bottom.
Next the jacks are used to flare out the opening of the bowl. Both the blades and the straps of the jacks can be used to shape and smooth the glass in different ways.
The bowl is taken to the reheating chamber and heated up. It is quickly spun around and centripetal force flattens the glass to create the bowl shape. When it’s taken out, it is immediately turned upside-down so the glass folds on itself, making the iconic fazzoletto style. The folds are worked to make them more uniform in size and shape.
The bowl is taken back to the bench and finessed. You can see the results of the fazzoletto technique here!
Finally, the Splash Bowl is knocked off the punty and a torch is used to melt down the pontil mark for a smooth surface.
Here is the completed Splash Bowl from the videos!
This Silver Splash Bowl has a metallic finish combined with striping on the outside.
This Granny Apple Splash Bowl is a simpler design, but the contrasting rim color emphasizes the dynamic line shape characteristic of the Splash Bowls.
The shape of the Splash can be further manipulated to create other variations on the design, like this Cobalt Splash.
The Zebra Splash really illustrates how much creativity can go into the creation of these fazzoletto pieces. See more of these amazing pieces on our website!