Pulegoso glass, which appears full of bubbles, is made by injecting into the molten glass a component that reacts and in doing so releases gas bubbles. This technique was invented in the 1920s by Napoleone Martinuzzi at the Venini glassworks.
Pulegosi pieces were shown for the first time in 1928 at the XVI Venice Biennale, where visitors could appreciate the results of Martinuzzi’s most recent and original experiments with glass. For these works, he used an innovative opaque and sponge-like material filled with tiny bubbles (puleghe) that were the result of adding sodium bicorbonate or petrol to the incandescent mass of molten glass. The artist developped this technique in order to provide him with a more plastic material, something that responded better to his requirements as a sculptor. Also, his interest for ancient glass, whose shapes and designs he had already used for his clear-glass pieces, lead him to develop a material that resembled that consistency and opacity.
Napoleone Martinuzzi, Pulegosi, installation view, ph. Ettore Bellini