We all use glass on a daily basis for practical reasons. Opening the window to your home to let some fresh air in, filling a glass with water to re-hydrate and even the picture on your wall is enclosed with a glass panel. Glass is practical, functional and the masterminds who create these pieces do so with the most skilled touch. However, Glass blowing is not just practical, but instead has a more zen feeling to it. Glass becomes art when the creator wants it to become art. When the glass blower applies outside concepts to his piece and structures it not only for practical purposes but for beauty, it becomes art. These glass objects in which offer beauty are typically portrayed in public spaces in order to show them off. Some different creations that you can see include glass sculptures, glass panels, and knitted glass.
Glass sculptures are just as they sound. A glass blower creates many different pieces of glass and then attaches them to create one whole piece which in turn becomes a glass sculpture. Glass sculpting is often a long process due to the involvement of creating each piece specifically to fit another.
Sergio Redegalli is an Australian artist known for his most famous glass sculpture piece “Cascade”. Owner of the Cydonia glass studio, he specializes in his own technique called ‘optifuse’. This techniques preserves the integrity of broken glass shards as one mass. “Cascade” is a 12 ton glass sculpture of a water wave that can be found in the adelaide botanic gardens.
Glass panels are huge pieces of glass which are sculpted and decorated into a panel shape. They are typically used in interior places such as hotels, cruise liners or even homes. Although there’s not much of a glass blowing technique used in the makings of glass panels, it is still a glass art form and requires much of the skill of a glassblowers craftsmanship.
Knitted glass is a fairly new technique as it was developed in 2006 by glass artist Carol Milne. It involves much of the same technique as knitting while applying it to glass. Much of Carol Milnes art involves intricate glass patterns of glass yarn, knitted neatly around yarn sticks.
Glass pipes and Glass Bongs
Bob Snodgrass is believed to be the father of the technique called “fuming”. He coated the inside of his glass pipes with vaporized silver. Due to a suggestion from a friend, Snodgrass settled down in Eugene, Oregon and still makes beautiful glass pipes. He has claimed the name of the godfather of modern glass art. Another artist, Tommy Chong, began his own line of innovative pipes and bongs of creativity. There are many other artist who led the glass pipe revolution, as Glass pipes and glass bongs became a multi-million dollar corporation. Using local artist and big factories, the glass pieces are still almost all made by hand. From pieces like you’ve never seen before, the artwork is simply stunning.
The history of Glassblowing is fascinating as it shows just how much a simple element can change so much. From the way we discovered glass making to the way we incorporated it into our lives, glass has impacted us in numerous ways. Artist from all over the world still use the practice of glass blowing to create beautiful pieces that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. The art and invention of glassblowing proves to be timeless and very valuable.