Glass; H. 1 3/4 in. (4.5 cm), Diam. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm); H. 1 23/32 in. (4.29 cm), Diam. 3 7/8 in. (9.83 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.194.263; 17.194.560)
The name "network," or reticella, comes from the resulting effect of many small spirals that is reminiscent of woven baskets or fishing nets. Network mosaic objects were formed in a slightly different manner than composite mosaic ones (59.11.6); threads of colored and colorless glass were wound spirally around each other and then pulled together to form the canes that would then be laid together to make up the final form. These long lengths of glass were then either wound spirally into a concave mold to build up the walls of the vessel, or laid side by side to form a disk and then sagged over a convex "former" mold.
These two examples, although Greek, provide a good demonstration of both methods of laying down network glass canes employed later by the Romans. The yellow example was formed by winding a single length of network cane in a spiral inside a concave mold, while the blue and yellow bowl consists of parallel lengths of network cane sagged over a convex mold. The Romans also used lengths of network glass in combination with strips of multicolored glass to create a highly popular, and distinctively Roman, pattern combination. This arrangement consisted of two composite canes of three colored strips each, separated from one another by a length of network glass.