The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi DSC 44391 1140x660

Igor Balbi is an italian master artisan known for his extraordinary work in glass sculpture and lampworking. He is considered one of the best european craftsmen. He was born in Murano in 1975. At the age of 19 he joined his family’s glasswork business. His father and uncles would teach him the classical techniques of lampworking.

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi P1080720

Igor Balbi is proud to continue his family’s glasswork tradition. ©Igor Balbi

Having learnt the fundamentals of this craft, Igor started to specialize in working Murano glass and “tipetti”, an arduous path and one not usually taken, as far as techniques with sodium-calcium glass torch are concerned. After years of research and experimentation, Igor developed a blowing technique unique to his specific manner of working so he could generate peerless glass sculptures.

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi DSC 44501

This fine handmade glass chalice is so detailed that it seems to be made of bone. ©Igor Balbi

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi DSC 4456

Chalice’s Detail. ©Igor Balbi

Strongly attracted by the qualities and functional characteristics of glass, Igor experiments with matter and evolves with it bringing to life exclusive glass sculptures. As such, new systems of production are created and achieve a high range of chromatic effects. His works are all unique pieces with sinuous lines and forms, characterized by colorful shapes created by overlaying very thin glass sheets.

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi DSC 4440

Balbi’s handcrafted chalice collection is one of the best of Europe. ©Igor Balbi

To make his creations, Balbi places the glass at the end of a small steel tube so it can expand when the master blows through the opposite end of the tube. Fire and the masterful gestures of the glassworker then shape the piece.

The chemical characteristics of glass fascinate Igor Balbi, that’s why he developed his special lampworking technique. The secret of his glass sculptures is the method he uses to stratify glass, creating an infinite range of colors. He likes to combine glass to trigger chemical reactions, creating oxidization and spectacular color effects that bring an organic, lifelike element to the lampworked glass.

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi DSC 4472

The excellency of the quality of glass sculptures made with murano glass is unquestionable. ©Igor Balbi

His technique consists of blowing and shaping glass using gravity, centrifugal force and heat. He uses an Arnold blowtorch that works with natural gas, oxygen and air, and applies it to Murano glass or sodium glass (soft glass). Igor draws inspiration from Murano glassworking techniques, reworking them and revisiting them with a contemporary eye, and with his technical and artistic knowledge. He is fascinated by the Art Deco and Liberty styles, by fragile glass and by high technical demand.

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi DSC 4443

The techiques Igor Balbi mastered are some of the hardest to accomplish when working with a material like glass. ©Igor Balbi

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi dett 2

Balbi also brings to life some delicate jewellery pieces using glass. ©Igor Balbi

Igor Balbi’s talent was represented by the glass sculptures Reliquiario Ottone 2018 and Reliquiario Ottone Con Fagiano 2018 (Brass Reliquary With Pheasant) and considered one of the best of Europe. The yellow color visible through the complex architecture of both pieces was created by coating glass to create oxidization and chemical rotations. The work is evocative of ancient glass reliquaries.

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi Igor Balbi Reliquiario Ottone 2018

“Reliquiario Ottone 2018” was one of Balbi’s art pieces exhibited in “Best of Europe” at Homo Faber 2018. It evokes a sense of peace and innocence. ©Michelangelo Foundation

glass sculpture The Best of Glass Sculpture and Lampworking Art: Igor Balbi Igor Balbi Italy Reliquiario Ottone Con Fagiano 2018 Brass Reliquary With Pheasant

“Reliquiario Ottone Con Fagiano 2018” was one of Balbi’s works of art present in “Best of Europe” at Homo Faber 2018. The purity of its color palettes is reinforced by the delicate bird on top. ©Michelangelo Foundation

 

See More Related Stories

The Best of Glass Sculpture and Glassblowing Art: Marc Barreda