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Glassmaking: Inside The Ancient Art Perfected By Modern ArtisansThursday 6 December 2018
Glassmaking: Inside The Ancient Art Perfected By Modern Artisans ⇒ Europe is a continent filled with history, arts and traditions. One of them is glassworking, an ancient art that dates back thousands of year. Nowadays, this technique has been perfected by modern artisans, elevating European craftsmanship and spreading it across the world. Today, CovetED brings you a bit more about this incredible art form.
Lampworked, mouth-blown, cast into a mould, engraved, sandblasted, gilded… the versatility of glass is endless and it has been embedded into the fabric of European craftsmanship for more than 4,000 years – and it’s still going strong, with contemporary glassmakers pushing boundaries to create ever more innovative works.
Glassworks often have charts on the wall explaining which furnace is being used for which colour glass, because when molten glass is heated to 900ºC it all appears the same colour – literally red hot.
Incalmo, one of the techniques used by UK-based glass artists Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, means fusing together two distinct blown-glass elements of the same diameter, an age-old skill requiring precision and a delicate touch.
Europe has four big names in the glassworking world. Alison Lowry, from Northern Ireland, uses the technique pâte de Verre (crushed glass and a binder such as Arabic gum packed into a mould) to create delicate glass sculptures. Geir Nustad, from Norway, employs his own unique style of hand-blowing glass to make objects that explore pattern, colour and form, inspired by the natural environment in his native Norway. Igor Balbi, from Italy, creates intricate glass sculptures using his own personal lampworking technique, incalmo Balbi, honed after years of experimentation and innovation. Laura Hart, from England, makes anatomically detailed but large-scale glass replicas of orchids and butterflies, creating just one of each type to highlight the fragility of these threatened species.
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Source: Michelangelo Foundation