Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

ENNION MASTER-GLASSMAKER IN ROMAN TIMES

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on May 2, 2019

The master-glassmaker Ennion worked from about A.D. 30-70. His signature is known from fifty to fifty five surviving pieces, and many other works are attributed to him on the basis of style. He reportedly created the technique of mold-blowing glass vessels. Mold blowing: Inflating a parison of hot glass in a mold. The glass is forced against the inner surfaces of the mold and assumes its shape, together with any decoration that it bears. This new process allowed the vessel to be decorated as it was formed and permitted the creation of multiple copies of the same vessel. Ennion’s clear, precise designs distinguish his work; he also minimized the visibility of the lines caused by the seams in the mold.  Sometimes Ennion’s marketing genius is overlooked for he was one of the first artists to develop a brand name, “Ennion Made Me”.  The location of Ennion’s workshop is debated, in part because his work is found throughout the Roman Empire. Some scholars believe he worked in Sidon located in modern Lebanon, and later moved to northern Italy. The inscriptions he frequently used as decoration may provide a clue. Though his name may have been Semitic in origin, he signed it in Greek, the language of the eastern Mediterranean, not Italy. The city of Sidon, where he may have worked, had all the raw material for glass-making and extensive trade connections.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Corning Museum of Glass both had an exhibition on Ennion’s Roman glass 2015.  This was a fascinating show.  All these great works of glass in one place.

A comment was made by Hans van Rossum and Theo Zandbergen; that Ennion may have been a master mold-maker….so he made these amazing molds and put his name on it…and his workers were the glass blowers.  The title of this post should be: ENNION MASTER MOLD-MAKER IN ROMAN TIMES

The exhibition catalog: Ennion Master of Roman Glass is still available at this link. This book about the Glass master Ennion and the products he could blow in the first century AD.

Exhibition Catalogues Ennion Master of Roman GlassEnnion, indeed, he was THE Master of Roman Glass!!

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