The normal practice of applying handles was to first attach the glass to the body of the vessel and then draw the glass upwards and attach at the rim. The Workshop of the Floating Handles did the opposite - the handles were drawn down, but not attached to the body - hence they floated above the surface. The basket weave design is imitating the actual practice of encasing glass vessels to protect them during transportation. For similar, cf. Stern, 1995, p. 154, no. 59 and von Saldern 1974, no. 431 (now Getty Museum no: 2003.309); for a recent study on the Workshop, see Stern, 1992.