glass

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Design

A Kinetic Glass Greenhouse Blossoms into a Massive Open-Air Terrarium

November 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

An aerial image of an open glass greenhouse

All images by Hufton + Crow, courtesy of Heatherwick Studio, shared with permission

A kinetic design by Heatherwick Studio transforms a sleek glass enclosure on the Woolbeding Gardens property into an elegant flower in full bloom. Situated at the edge of the West Sussex estate, “Glasshouse” protects a melange of sub-tropical flora from southwest China, particularly those found along the Silk Road. A hydraulic mechanism opens the 10 panels of the aluminum-and-steel structure during warmer temperatures, allowing for ventilation within the 141-square-meter terrarium and transforming the architectural form into a blossoming botanical.

Heatherwick Studio is responsible for an eclectic array of designs, including a silo-turned-art-gallery and a honeycomb vessel for pedestrians, and you can follow the latest on Instagram.

 

A photo of a glass greenhouse

An aerial photo of a glass greenhouse

A photo inside a glass greenhouse

A photo looking toward the sky through a glass greenhouse

A photo of an open glass greenhouse

An aerial photo of a glass greenhouse

 

 

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Art Craft

Balloon-Like Sculptures Reimagine Blown Glass in Matthew Szösz’s ‘Inflatables’ Series

November 17, 2022

Kate Mothes

A glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“untitled(inflatable)no. 33.” All images © Matthew Szösz, shared with permission

The art of blown glass takes on new meaning in Matthew Szösz’s Inflatables series. About 15 years ago, the artist was interested in challenging assumptions about how the material could be worked and what form it could take. “In the craft and design field, the way that we make things has a profound effect on what we make,” he tells Colossal. “Blown glass and thrown pots are round; houses and furniture are rectangular. I spend a good portion of my time experimenting with process to try and use a new way of making to create new families of objects and forms.” The resulting sculptures capture a playful tension between fragility and strength, ephemerality and durability.

Using glass panes or sheets from salvaged windows, Szösz carefully plans the shape of the final form and cuts numerous pieces that are measured to slightly overlap so that when fused together, they create tight seams. Ceramic fiber paper separates the layers to prevent the material from sticking to both the kiln and itself. At 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, the piece is swiftly removed from the kiln and inflated, balloon-like with compressed air. The glass is malleable for only about a minute at most before it cools to a hard object. “There is very little shaping that can be done during the inflation, so the process relies entirely on the preparation of the material,” Szösz explains. “Once you pull it out to inflate it, what you get is what you get.”

Szösz’s work with sheet glass take numerous forms, and his sculptures are currently on view in two exhibitions at BWA Wrócław Galleries of Contemporary Art, including a solo show titled Gold Standard, and the group exhibition Autonomous Zones, a collaboration with Pilchuck Glass School. You can follow more of the artist’s work on Instagram and his website.

 

A blown glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“untitled(inflatable)no. 95r”

A blown glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“untitled(inflatable)no_100bir”

A glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“untitled(inflatable)no. 71a”

A blown glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“untitled(inflatable)no. 93irk”

Blown glass sculptures by Matthew Szösz that resembles unusual balloons.

Left: “untitled(inflatable)no. 87.” Right: “untitled(inflatable)no. 75g”

A blown glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“untitled(inflatable)no. 90ir”

A blown glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“untitled(inflatable)no. 85b”

A blown glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“untitled(inflatable)no. 91irb”

A blown glass sculpture by Matthew Szösz that resembles an unusual balloon.

“”untitled(inflatable)no. 89g”

 

 



Craft Design

Adorable Glass Ghosts by Masanaga Noike Cradle Chopsticks on Their Bellies

October 24, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Masanaga Noike

Masanaga Noike, who’s behind the Nagano City-based studio naga-no-glass, has summoned some super cute spirits to the table just in time for the most haunted day of the year. Designed to cradle chopsticks on their pudgy bellies, every ghostly dinner guest is hand-formed and given whimsical expressions, so no two are alike. Noike makes them by coating a white powdered glass over the top of transparent glass, then pulling the hands and tail and denting the stomach where the utensils can be placed.

Explore more of Noike’s work on Instagram. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

 



Design

One of the Largest Louisiana Glass Recyclers Was Founded by College Students Who Are Rebuilding a Vanishing Coastline

October 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

The Louisiana coastline has undergone significant erosion in the last century, and one method of restoration involves rebuilding landforms and protecting areas with sand. Unfortunately, the world is simultaneously experiencing a massive shortage of the material—it’s the most-extracted and second most-used resource in the world—so it’s essential to find new, innovative methods of procuring the substance.

Glass Half Full, one of the largest recyclers of the material in Louisiana, is working toward this goal by turning bottles and other waste back into their original, granular form. On a visit from Business Insider, Franziska Trautmann and Max Steitz, who co-founded the organization while in college, tour the facility that already processes an astounding 16 metric tons of glass per week. The substance is crushed and sorted into gravel-sized chunks, a fine powdery material, and a coarse grind, the latter of which is shipped to wetlands and habitats for use in restoration efforts. Thanks to a National Science Foundation, Glass Half Full even collaborated with Tulane University scientists to ensure that the reused material doesn’t leach harmful chemicals into the water and can sustain plant life.

Since launching in 2020, the organization has recycled more than two million pounds of waste, and you can find more about its work on its site. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

Restoration efforts with bags of recycled sand

Gravel-like material

Franziska Trautmann at the Glass Half Full facility

Super fine sand

 

 



Art Craft

Colorfully Cast Hands in Carol Milne’s Knitted Glass Sculptures Won’t Drop a Stitch

October 11, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Metamorphosis.” Images © Carol Milne, shared with permission

While they might seem like gibberish to the non-knitter, abbreviations like “Sl1P” or “K2tog”— “slip next stitch purlwise” or “knit 2 stitches together”—represent how lengths of spun fiber become a fabric. In Carol Milne’s intricate sculptures (previously), one can practically hear the needles clicking as yarn is cast on, except these interlaced strands aren’t exactly pliable. In the series Hands Knitting Themselves, glass fingers deftly guide needles through delicate loops as if frozen mid-stitch.

Combining a passion for knitting with experience in sculpture, Milne began working with kiln cast lead crystal, experimenting with different methods and developing a lost-wax process to cast individual knitted works into glass. Playing with translucency and the material’s ability to highlight a prismatic range of hues, light is essential to Milne’s body of work, and she has recently been working on pieces that focus on illumination.

Milne will open her studio as part of Refract Seattle on October 15, and she currently has work on view with Culture Object in New York City,  Kittrell Riffkind Gallery in Dallas, and Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville. You can find more of her pieces on Instagram and on her website.

 

“Perfect Ten”

Left: Detail of “Metamorphosis.” Right: “Kingal,” “Nitsha,” and “Tatu”

“Cocoon”

“String into Action”

Works from the series ‘Hands Knitting Themselves’

“Cast Off”

“Swisha (for Melissa)”

 

 



Art

Vintage Baubles and Foliage Encircle the Enchanting Glass Dioramas of Artist Amber Cowan

September 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Fountain with Fans in River and Jade” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 
22 x 19 x 6 1/2 inches. All images courtesy of Heller Gallery, shared with permission

In her solo show Gathering the Sky, Mining the MilkAmber Cowan emphasizes the legacy of color. Through intricately layered dioramas of pressed glass, the Philadelphia-based artist explores the histories of lavender, jade, and opaque white. Her assemblages meld custom and found pieces sourced from primarily defunct factories in the United States, many of which produced a specific palette of colors like the sky blue of “Ecco to the Bridesmaid: ‘I Know Not What Has Happened to Your Pod.” Comprised of two symmetrically shaped panels, the diptych blends an array of materials and generational references, including the 1992 Sega video game Ecco the Dolphin and the emblem of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the artist behind the iconic opalescent stained glass lamps.

Similar to Cowan’s earlier works, these new reliefs are brimming with foliage, flowers, and small baubles that encircle a scenic component embedded in the center. Figurative statues like the artist’s recurring bridesmaid character, miniature bird sculptures, chalices, and Greco-style columns infuse the pieces with narrative detail.

Gathering the Sky, Mining the Milk is on view through November 19 at Heller Gallery in New York. Find more of Cowan’s work on Instagram.

 

“Ecco to the Bridesmaid: ‘I Know Not What Has Happened to Your Pod'” (2022), 
flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media
, 33 x 48 x 8 inches

“Powder Box and Offering in River and Jade” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 18 1/2 x 16 x 8 inches

Detail of “Ecco to the Bridesmaid: ‘I Know Not What Has Happened to Your Pod'” (2022), 
flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media
, 33 x 48 x 8 inches

“Hummingbirds with Column in Helio and Lavender” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 
19 x 16 x 8 inches

Detail of “Powder Box and Offering in River and Jade” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 18 1/2 x 16 x 8 inches

“Pen & Cygnet Swimming in Sky” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 
21 x 17 1/2 x 7 inches

“Cherries in Milk with Creamer and Compote” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media
, 19 x 16 x 8 inches

“Simplicity in Bittersweet Orange, Lemon and Mandarin” (2022), 
flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 
28 x 38 x 10 inches