Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Grinding a Pillow

This piece combines optical crystal glass, the clear part, and a slab of a Bullseye casting billet glass. I made this during the same time as the "Bird" sculpture. This piece is quite interesting. It's about 6" high, 4" wide, and ranges from about 1" to 1.5" thick. The two glasses were glued together with a glue called "Hxtal" which is an epoxy that is able to be ground and polished much like the glass. In this piece the amber glass started out as slab about 1" wide.

The optical crystal slab represented the rest of the piece, about 5" wide. The two slabs were glued together and then ground and polished. The blank was a rectangular slab but I ground it with a reverse twist. This means that the top twists one way and the bottom twists the opposite direction. This isn't easy and you need to develop a rhythm when grinding to keep the twist uniform and, probably more importantly, not lose control over the piece. I also sloped the front top face to provide even more visual interest. The end result looks like a pillow that has been fluffed and placed on a bed.

The pictures are even more interesting in some respects as the capture some of what you see, and some things you don't notice when looking at the sculpture directly.
For instance, the picture above looks like the piece comes to a point on the bottom, and yet the bottom is actually flat and the piece stands up perfectly fine. The picture below it looks as if the bottom is rounded.

Finally, note the amber color and how its looks like it is all throughout the piece. In fact, the amber is just along the left edge and the highly polished crystal is reflecting and refracting throughout the piece giving it a different look depending and where you view it from.

I owe a lot to the instructor, Martin Rosol, who taught the coldworking course at Corning that I attended. He showed me the possibilities of introducing complexity in a piece by utilizing the optical nature of the glass itself.

Sometimes simpler is more complex and interesting.

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