Y. Israeli, Made by Ennion: Ancient Glass Treasures from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, exhibition cat. (Israel Museum), Jerusalem, 2011, p. 84.
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. Numerous parallels with either one or two handles survive. See Matheson, 1980, pp. 50-51, no. 128 for a single-handled type; for a recent study on the Workshop, see Stern, 1992.