Glass in Art?

Glass is a wondrous material and Art is a wondrous pursuit. But how can we usefully discuss that material and that pursuit together? It is easy for us to define the material glass. It’s also relatively easy to discuss the various techniques that are used to form it, or even to undertake various philosophical discussions regarding the underlying nature of glass, or the many associations we have that are triggered by that material. It always seems however, to become considerably more complicated when we start to discuss the art component of the phrase ‘glass in art’. Opinions and approaches seem immediately to diverge quite a bit more widely then.
So what do we really mean when we speak of “glass in art”. What are we trying to accomplish when we either make- or teach ‘glass in art”?
Where should we begin that discussion?….. with history, with science and technology, with psychology or philosophy?
Obviously, even more important than where such a discussion might begin, is the question “what topics most effectively advance the discussion and the pursuit,?” i.e. on which central aspects can that discussion most revealingly be centered?

The questions posed here may be helpful ones, but it is clear that they respond to no more than the initial problem, i.e. where our discussions might begin. What is hoped for in the course of this year’s Glassac, is that with these questions as our starting point, the discussions we will have may start to yield some truly effective answers, or at least indications of where we should be looking for those answers. That can happen, as we soon will, when informed and interested participants get together and communicate with each other. When we’re together, we can begin to look for- and find perhaps some important agreement, on how to best advance and promote more insightful-, holistic-, informative- and therefore, truly useful discussions about glass in art .

Richard Meitner

Invited Speaker: Emanuel Toffolo

In collaboration with Elia Toffolo and Caterina Tosi.

Short Biography

Emanuel Toffolo was born in Murano in 1982, and ever since he has been surrounded by the art of glass.
He has followed in the footsteps of his father Cesare, and a long lineage of celebrated Glass Artists.
Upon graduating in 2000 from the High School of Art in Venice, he began flameworking glass. Thanks to his passion for the natural subjects and particularly for the insect world, he focused his work in the reproduction of different kinds of insects in glass.”
Combining his three passions. glass, music and photography, in 2016 Emanuel presented the documentary “Murano The Unbearable Lightness of Glass", directed by himself and written with his brother Elia and Caterina Tosi.

The Presentation

The presentation of the invited speaker Emanuel Toffolo will be focused in his documentary “Murano The Unbearable Lightness of Glass".

Invited Speaker: Jeroen Maes

Short Biography

Jeroen Maes (1977):
As artistic director, Jeroen Maes was in 2007 among the founders of the progressive glass museum GlazenHuis in Lommel, Belgium. From a theoretical and practical knowledge of old and new glass, of concept and technique, he has compiled 23 heterogeneous exhibitions confronting high-quality contemporary art and design with unique historical decorative and utility glass as well as paintings, jewelry, photography, video and performance. On the initiative of the Charlotte van der Seijs Foundation Jeroen Maes developed in 2012 a triennial competition for glass art and design, the International Glass Prize.

Glass Art Presentations

Jeroen Maes

Title to be announced

Yasemin Aslan Bakiri
Glass Artist and Anadolu University, Architecture and Design Faculty, Industrial design department

Glass sculptures meet public in public spaces
Public spaces are identified as areas that breathe with and for the community, displaying a wide array of artworks that have an influential role on artists. Art is an individual expression that creates an increase in awareness of our surroundings and permits an interaction within the public. The impact of an artwork on the viewer depends primarily on its originality, be it by the artist’s use of alternative methods with usual forms and material or his/her use of unusual material to create a classic object.
I use glass as my main art material and test its infinite style and form in every work I create. As one knows glass is basically made up of sand and fire. It is formed by technique yet the final process is guided by the artist’s feelings and rhythm. It is not easy to render one’s spirit into a work of art yet when one is able to master the knowledge, then it is possible to convey a spiritual message throughout the production.
I personally create my glass pieces using hot glass layers and create forms before cooling with momentary inspiration, Using glass and metal together I bind two contradictory elements by applying the hard and cold characteristics of metal together with glass, which is transparent and fragile.
My approach in creating public sculptures is based on bonding with individuals for whom these works are created. I envisage each part of my work as the core that makes up the mass, just like individuals that create a community. All my sculptures are large as I dedicate them to the large public they are commissioned for.

Ekrem Kula
Anadolu University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Glass, Yunusemre Campus, 26470 Eskisehir, Turkey

Glass foam works created from recyclable glass bottles, conservation vessels and waste glass paints
Today glass conservation vessels and window glasses take an important place in recycled materials. With the developing modern technology and the increase of consumption, cheap and extensive raw glass materials found on earth, gave the glass recycling an important role. At the same time, innovative glass designs that are of great importance brought healthy products and beverage consumption together with itself.
In the glass bottles and conservation vessels there is a great amount of colour range. So it is possible to treat colourful glass foam as a medium for artistic productions. Artists can create fine-art products only by utilizing from glass foam blocks on the on the one hand, and they may create three- dimensional (3D) glass objects by gathering plain float glass on the other. In order to reflect the aesthetic role of any artistic work, soda-lime silicate glasses can also be applied to the glass foam blocks on the same work to highlight the colour, volume and transparency features of the two materials.
Another feature of colourful glass foam is its light mass and its physical resistance, reliable and stable appearance. Its porous formation and structural visually with its different sized pores, will create different effects in artistic works. Giving shape to the glass foam is very easy and suitable for other operations like drilling, engraving, carving, assembling, joining, thus remarkable and interesting glass works can be created. Glass foam can be combined with different techniques like kiln casting and slumping, as also being used in mixed media works to produce interesting works. Colour and structure diversity can be achieved by the use of consumption glass and paints without of the original glass colours. The idea of creating artistic objects, was carried out together with the scientific research and development and laboratory investigations. Many tests and applications were made during this research. The physical compatibility of massive and foamed glass are of high importance. With its extraordinary texture, the glass foam creates a different taste and feeling.
As a result, artistic glass works created by using foam glass will create a different point of view in the mind of people which are related with glass art and design.

Ana Margarida Rocha
Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto

Production and application of ceramic decal technology on vitreous substrate
Despite their frequent use in architecture and advertising, images printed on glass are very rarely of a finely crafted quality. Instead, low quality printing solutions such as laminated paper or photomechanical silkscreen print, is the common choice. However, images on vitreous surfaces have a rich history, going back to industrial approaches, first in the ceramic industry, in the 18th century. The present project aims at researching and integrating simple methods of printing and molding into the studio glass practice. There is today an immense potential for extending the scope of fine art printing on glass by combining the creative flexibility of the digitally processed image and the autographic image, using handmade transfer papers to carry the visual content.

Esin Küçükbiçmen
Anadolu University, Fine Arts Faculty, Glass Department, Eskişehir, Turkey

Reflection and illusion in glass art; mastering artist Jin Hongo and his works
Glass, as a medium of art, owns the features which provide the glass to be a special material to create powerful effects of light and trancparency in artistic works. When used in the artistic aspect, it can be observed that some glass artists use their scientific knowledges to create powerful glass works by using the reflections of the light. The information about light and how it is reflected by mirrors and is breaked by glass lenses, play an important role in the creation of such kind of illusionist glass art works. 
In this presentation, the glass and its optical features are introduced firstly. Some glass works which aim to create effects of illusion and their creators, glass artists will be mentioned during the presentation. Artistic investigations about reflection and perceptual illusion take part in some of personal glass works. The artistic approach of Jin Hongo, with his special geometrical style in his art works and his sensitive use of the light in this case, will be emphasized in the paper.
Jin Hongo creates his artistic works that he created by using the medium glass, with the idea by saying: “...reflections are also happening in your mind, that is to say that your experiences and knowledge you have had are reflected on yourself in your thoughts, judgments and philosophy. In that sense we are all reflected images of ourselves, or we are all illusion of ourselves.”
The opportunities that the glass provides as an artistic medium as a material, are very wide. Personal thoughts about the future of designing artistic works, created by using effects of reflection and illusion achieved through the usage of the medium glass, will be discussed in the conclusion part.

Glass Art Posters

Fatma Cifti

The contribution of the science of glass to the artistic expression
In this statement, author discusses how the sciences of glass contribute to the expression of art glass.
I’ll make a remark on conceptual meaning of the artwork based on physical and chemical properties of glass. How the process of forming glass affects the conceptual meaning of a glasswork. This artwork is self-portrait that material is glass and made with kiln casting technique. Glass is fragile and transparent material, which is corresponding self. Technically in this self-portrait, the face is hollow and light gets through the hollow and makes it visible. Self makes a room for its existence in life fluency and light as a soul makes it alive.
Kiln casting technique requires a mold. Glass can pretend like a liquid in high temperature (melting point) and take the form of requested. Glass is a material that changes its molecular structure when expose by melting temperature. It is related to life fluency, which shapes humankind. Glass annealing process which gives time to harmonise the new molecular structure, relates human-life relation as requires time for positive result through traumatic experience. It’s the process of regenerating the inner peace of the artist and reflects her on self-portrait.
I offer an alternative view to chemical and physical properties of glass.

Francesca Giubilei
Art Curator

A Glass Garden
Since 2013 I am collaborating with the Australian artist Rosslynd Piggott in a project that extends her artistic research, based primarily on drawings and paintings, into the use of glass, in particular the engraving, as a new language to through which she can communicate her ephemeral and evanescent world. Glass, she says, not only helps to translate the appearance of her works of art, but, more importantly, it communicates her feelings for two of her favorite subjects, flowers and gardens.
Rosslynd Piggott decided to work in glass because of her interest in the metaphysical potential of this material and its beguiling and elusive properties, in particular its transparency and interaction with light. Glass contains and reveals, it has paradoxical properties of solidity and fluidity, and it conjures a sense of multiple space. For her as a painter who works with many layers of fine transparent paint, glass has an immediate relationship to her work. Piggott is not a glass artist. She approached glass with the fascination of a painter whose work extends into a variety of materials in order to explore their possible evocative relationships by the means of spatial installations.
This paper intends to show and explain the results of the collaboration between Rosslynd Piggott, the glass engraver Maurizio Vidal and myself. The glass objects were created in Murano. They are composed of glass plates engraved in several layers with botanical images. A mirror at the back of the stack of glass plates adds depth and substance by its reflection and refraction properties. Engraved glass and empty space alternate, and the mirror not only creates a vertiginous effect, but also presents an image of the viewer, albeit in a distorted and ambiguous shape. The viewer can immerse into a garden, a space for imagination, immateriality, wonder, and pleasure.

Göktuğ Günkaya
Anadolu University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Glass, 26470, Eskisehir, Turkey

Coloring studio glass by metal oxides
Color is a kind of language for giving some impressions by art work. Glasses in some colors cannot be purchased easily. In this study transparent glasses were colored by adding micro sized metal oxides in a studio environment. Waste glasses can also be used for this kind of process. As the first step of glass coloring, waste clear glass was ground to a micron size and then one or more metal oxides were added to the glass batch. Then the batch was melted. Soda lime silica glasses were selected as waste. The process of coloring the glass was affected by some important variables: the most important of these factors were: the composition of the glass and coloring agents in the recipe (usually metal oxides) and their proportions, the kiln atmosphere (reducing or oxidising) and the heat treatment. In this process, different amounts (0,001% - 10%) of coloring agents (mixture of MnO2 and CoO) were added to the glass batch in order to produce a variety of purplish blue tones. Additionally, to observe the effect of temperature, glasses were melted at 1100 °C, 1150 °C and 1200 °C. The color changes in the glass as a function of the amount of added oxides and melting temperature were examined. Also the colors of the produced glasses after melting was examined by technical (measuring LAB) and classical (observation relative to the reference sample) methods. Beside these, thermal properties were investigated. The results of the study gave information about important properties of the colored glasses. According to these conclusions, decisions can be made on using these glasses together or separately in various shaping techniques to create artistic works in the studio environment. Also optimization of the firing schedule was realized based on these data. Coloring of waste glass by metal oxides was achieved by the study.

Jianyong Guo.

Inside Painting’ - suggested as a new model for contemporary glass art
My PhD research (2016) has been an art-based practice-led project focused on Chinese ‘inside painting’ in glass art. It has attempted to create a ‘new model’ for Chinese traditional inside painting through the creation of contemporary glass artworks. This research mainly used studio-based art practices, inspired by traditional inside painting of Chinese snuff bottles, traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, influenced by Taoism, together with Western glass painting, printing and calligraphy in order to reduce some of the existing limitations of traditional methods. The methods of glass making for this research covered blowing, casting, flame work, fusing, slumping, incorporating ‘outside’ painting combined with ‘inside’ painting, and printing combined with inside painting.

Andreia Ruivo
Research Unit VICARTE, Glass and Ceramic for the Arts, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal

Red glass revisited – a short review of the work made in VICARTE laboratories
In this communication various examples of red glass obtained either through usual production processes or using innovative techniques are described.
Cadmium and selenium mixtures are commonly used to obtain red glasses, however due to their toxicity the use of other elements, such as gold and copper can be an alternative. The red colour of gold and copper glasses is caused by the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with metallic nanoparticles.
Conventional synthesis methods were used in our Laboratories by adding to a soda-lime silicate glass composition either gold and tin oxide as a reducing agent 1 or purple of Cassius. One interesting experiment was made using a recipe found in a batch book of the Factory “Gaivotas”. An almost clear glass was obtained, which formed an original amethyst glass when heated at 650ºC. With further heating to 700ºC a gold ruby glass was obtained.
Gold and copper ruby glasses were also produced without using any conventional reducing agent. In a first approach a batch composition doped with gold or copper, prepared using very pure compounds, was melted at 1500ºC. A transparent clear glass was obtained which did not strike at any temperature. After irradiating with gamma rays 1 or by infrared irradiation using a nanosecond laser 3 a brown colour was obtained, mainly due to F centres. Further heating using different annealing conditions gave origin to red colours with different hues. Using the same glass composition two hooks were made by a Vicarte artist. When the glass was heated in the glory hole, gold was reduced, which resulted in a red glass under transmitted light and brown under reflected light. The Lycurgus cup, a Roman vase of the 4th century, also exhibit two colours, however the colour observed under reflected light is green instead of brown. In this case it is known that the glass has small amounts of gold and silver.
Other processes were studied. Copper mirrors production and further heating, dip coating of glasses in solutions of gold and copper and the use of spray pyrolysis with copper acetate over a heated plate also gave rise to copper and gold ruby glasses.