Why Glass? Our view from a glass blowing , kilnforming studio
We get lots of questions about glass in the studio, so I thought we might just provide some info to help you understand “Why Glass”!
For us glass is a state of mind, but in reality it a state of matter. It gets created when a molten material cools so rapidly that there is not enough time for a crystalline structure to form. In solids atoms are arranged in ordered lattice-like structures. In liquids atoms and molecules are able to move randomly, they flow. In glass, atoms are held rigidly – they cannot flow and they are not arranged in latices. Glass is called a rigid liquid.
When most people think of glass they think of it as a manmade object. But glass forms in nature:
Volcanoes spew molten rock which cools rapidly and is called obsidian.
Lightning strikes desert or beach sands and forms brittle tubes of melted sand that form fulgurites.
Meteors which fly through the earth’s atmosphere and then impact the earth with intense heat form terrestrial debris which cools quickly and is called tektites.
Silicious skeletons of marine creatures (algae, sea sponges) are shed onto the marine floor and form natural glass…
Glass is all around us. Think about it. What would our world be without glass?
It helps us control the temperature of our surroundings.
It aids our vision.
It facilitates communication through fiber optic cables.
It is used in packaging, tableware…
It helps express our identity in the form of art.
What does glass not do? Its applications are endless.
Most people think of glass as a solid. It’s fun to expose people to glass in its more liquid form. When we work with glass in the hot shop it is kinetic, it flows, it expands, it contracts and it dances with us. Glass is beautiful in its clear state, where you can take advantage of its optical qualities, and it is fascinating when it takes on color. Glass is a fantastic play material. You can make it into one form if you don’t like it you can remelt it and form it into something else.
Glass is paradoxical, it can last for thousands of years or be shattered in an instant.
Glass reflects the personalities of those who work it.
Michael’s joy is exploring his love for color and different forms in glass.
Patrick focuses on patters and the repetition of elements probably due to his strong musical background.
Glass is attractive to me as a scientist because when you work it in a logical manner, it is process oriented. Once you become competent at the steps and how to make the basic forms you can start to recombine them and make glass follow your lead. I look at boundaries as something to go beyond and try to mimic geological concepts with glass like a kid with a chemistry set and no instruction manual.I try to use everything, all my background and knowledge while exploiting all the resources at hand.
Without glass how would we recognize ourselves? Its reflectivity allows us to see ourselves as we truly are… Or maybe not.
Why not come out to the studio and learn more about yourself. See where working with glass may lead you. Believe us, it’s worth it and so are you. With glass the exploration is endless.
Three Dimensional Visions – Glass Blowing Houston
Enriching lives through artistic self-expression.