glass

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Design

A Natural-Stone Mosaic Facade Punctuated by Dramatic Opal Windows in a New Building by OMA

March 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © OMA

In the developing city of Gwanggyo located about 25 kilometers south of Seoul, a high-end Korean department store stands out amongst gray office buildings and other concrete structures. Designed by OMA/Chris van Duijn, the Galleria shopping center features a mosaic facade of neutral-toned stones cut into exact triangles. A series of geometric, opal windows offer those passing through the dome-like hallways a look at the burgeoning city’s activities.

OMA said in a release that the building is inspired in part by the nearby Suwon Gwanggyo Lake Park, an urban green space that surrounds a small body of water. Complete with a rooftop garden, the structure has designated space for consumers to shop and for cultural activities that are open to the public.

The international firm also is leading the redesign for the New Museum in New York City, a project that will replace the current building with a 60,000-square-foot structure made of laminated glass and metal mesh. Its work on nhow Amsterdam RAI Hotel even garnered a recent nomination for Golden Amsterdam Architectural Prize 2020, which is bestowed annually by the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture. To follow OMA’s upcoming projects, head to Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 



Music

The Enchanting Echoes of the Cristal Baschet, a Rare Organ Made of Glass Rods, Metal, and Wood

March 14, 2020

Andrew LaSane

Invented in 1952 by Bernard and François Baschet, the Cristal Baschet (also called a Crystal Organ) is a unique instrument that outputs an even more unique and artful sound. In the video above, multi-instrumentalist and film composer Marc Chouarain explains how it works and demonstrates techniques for turning finger rubs and drags into deep melodic echoes.

According to musician and rare instrument performer Thomas Bloch, models of the crystal organs range from 3.5 to 6 octaves and are made of 56 chromatically tuned glass rods. To play it, musicians rub the rods with wet fingertips. “The vibration of the glass is passed on to the heavy block of metal by a metal stem whose variable length determines the frequency,” Bloch explains. “Amplification is obtained by fiberglass cones fixed on wood and by a tall cut out metal part, in the shape of a flame. ‘Whiskers’ (moustaches), placed under the instrument, to the right, increase the sound power of high-pitched sounds in vibrating by sympathy.”

Ravi Shankar, Damon Albarn (Gorillaz), Daft Punk, Radiohead, Tom Waits, and Manu Dibango are among the musical acts who have used the Cristal Baschet, according to an official Baschet Sound Structures Association brochure. For more from Chouarain, check out his Facebook page. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 



Art

Loose Knits Flow from Hands and Needles in Glass Sculptures by Carol Milne

February 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Sweet Spot,” kiln cast lead crystal and knitting needles, 16 x 21 x 11 inches. All images © Carol Milne, shared with permission

Carol Milne’s knit pieces might resemble your grandmother’s afghans but certainly aren’t as soft or pliable. The Seattle-based artist (previously) utilizes kiln cast lead crystal to create her loose weaves of translucent, color-coordinated glass. They often flow down from the hands and knitting needles they’re fashioned on, giving the feeling that the works could expand with just a few more stitches.

“I see my knitted work as metaphor for social structure. Individual strands are weak and brittle on their own, but deceptively strong when bound together,” Milne writes in a statement. “You can crack or break single threads without the whole structure falling apart. And even when the structure is broken, pieces remain bound together. The connections are what bring strength and integrity to the whole and what keep it intact.” Some of the artist’s knitted glass pieces will be on view from March 6 to May 1 at Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville, North Carolina. Until then, head to Instagram to see more of her delicate pieces.

“Day & Night” (2018), kiln cast lead crystal and knitting needles, 16 x 12 x 10 inches

“Day & Night” (2018), kiln cast lead crystal and knitting needles, 16 x 12 x 10 inches

“Handknit,” kiln cast lead crystal & knitting needles

“Handknit,” kiln cast lead crystal & knitting needles

“Warped (Warp Knitting)” (2019), kiln cast lead crystal, stainless steel wall mount, and knitting needles, 12.5 x 12 x 3 inches

“Sphere Delight,” kiln cast lead crystal, 19 x 19 x 19 inches

“Waterwings,” kiln cast lead crystal and knitting needles, 8 x 19 x 12 inches

“Cloak & Dagger,” kiln cast lead crystal and knitting needles, 15.5 x 20 x 10 inches

 

 



Photography

Glass Vessels Skew Florals in Illusory Photographs by Suzanne Saroff

February 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Suzanne Saroff, shared with permission

Suzanne Saroff doesn’t mind if her audience has a distorted view of the vibrant flowers and leaves she captures. The New York-based photographer, who’s worked with a long list of clients like Calvin Klein, Glossier, and Prada, is a master of illusion in her tonal images that place florals behind clear glasses of water, skewing their structures in her red, pink, and beige compositions.

Saroff tells Colossal that her latest work revisits elements of distortion she used in previous projects that framed images of bananas, avocados, and fish behind glass vessels filled with water. Since her Perspective series, the photographer says she’s begun to explore “subtle new ways of expressing feelings and emotions through flowers, color, composition, and lighting.” Her more recent project maintains themes of “exploration and play,” although it employs different techniques and aesthetics.

I always have some idea of what I want to shoot—in terms of color, light, subject and composition—but some of my favorite photos come from something raw and in the moment. These photos can take 20 minutes or the entire day—with the distortions I work at and the moving of all of the pieces around until everything feels just right. When I get the photo I know right away. This series is about bringing emotions to creating.

Head to Saroff’s Instagram to see the skewed projects she conceives of next.

 

 



Art

Hidden Paintings Revealed with Each Turn of an Anamorphic Glass Sculpture by Thomas Medicus

January 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

In his latest project “What It Is Like To Be,” artist Thomas Medicus (previously) employs his illusory  style to create an anamorphic glass sculpture that changes with every 90 degree turn. The cubic piece is comprised of 144 glass strips that are arranged to depict four distinct images—clothes strung up on a line, bats clinging to a branch as they hang upside down, a diverse patch of mushrooms, and three figures who are caught in the rain. Each glass portion is handpainted separately with acrylic before being mounted in a concrete socle that sits inside a wooden bowl and stretches about 30 centimeters long.

The Austria-based artist’s project references a 1974 paper by American philosopher Thomas Nagel. Titled “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?,” the seminal text questions the relationship between human and animal subjectivity, stating that although people can imagine life as a bat, they can never know truly what it means to be a different animal. Nagel’s work influenced later conversations about consciousness and the ways humans understand and relate to other living beings. In a note to Colossal, Medicus described his connection to Nagel’s writing.

For quite a long time, I was seeking to understand how I can value the natural sciences without having to devalue subjectivity, personal experience, or qualitative research. Back then I wasn’t really able to do that. For me, art was a way to question an exclusively materialistic worldview without at the same time having to be a spiritual or religious person. “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” by Thomas Nagel provides a great philosophical basis to put these different worlds in one frame and personally helped me to do that.

To see more of the artist’s creative process, head over to his Instagram and Vimeo.

All images © Thomas Medicus, shared with permission

 

 



Art

The Movement of Waves and Currents Illustrated in Glass by Shayna Leib

December 21, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Flux (2012), 16 x 30 x 8 inches. All photos by Eric Tadsen

Artist Shayna Leib (previously) finds inspiration in wind and water for her intricate and delicate glass sculptures. Thousands of hand-pulled canes are affixed into improvised compositions that mimic sea life swept by natural forces. Custom hues accentuate the soft appearance of the sculptures while contrasting the nature of the material and the caneworking process.

As Leib explains on her website, cane pulling involves layering colorants between gathers of molten glass and stretching it into rods. Two of the artist’s latest compositions, “Grotto” and “Harmattan,” get their deep red color from colorants formulated with gold. The rods are then curved using a kiln and molds before being cut into smaller sections. After sorting the tens of thousands of pieces by color and shape, Leib begins the process of arranging them in frames to form three-dimensional works.

“The things I find beautiful have always been fractal in nature,” Leib said in a statement. “I am intrigued by multitudes of tiny little parts- blades of grass all bending in the wind to the same rhythm. As you pan out you have waves of form. Zoom in and you see each individual blade of grass moving to the flow of the wind.” To view more angles of Leib’s dynamic glass sculptures, follow her on Instagram.

Sunset over the Tundra (2013), glass, 22 x 36 x 7 inches.

Sunset over the Tundra (detail)

Harmattan (2019)

Hexacorallia (2019), 36 x 12 x 8 inches

Grotto (2019), 36 x 20 x 9 inches; Stiniva IV (2019), 36 x 20 x 9 inches