Two-Way Window: Optics of Glass and the Eye
For enrollment and scholarship opportunities please visit Urban Glass’ website.
This class will look at the fabric of relationships between glass and vision with respect to optics and perception. Motivated by the idea of glass as a lens or membrane that reflects, distorts, and transforms, the workshop will combine basic digital image and pattern-making techniques with handcrafted working methods to suspend ideas within the transparent and mutable nature of glass.
The class will be working hands-on and experimentally with thought processes around optical phenomena in glass that consider elements of historical Scandinavian glass working traditions such as the Graal technique. Invented in the first decades of the 20th century at Orrefors Glass Factory in Sweden, this technique – and techniques that evolved from it such as ‘fake’ Graal, Ariel, and Ravenna – allow details of pattern or air pockets to be applied to blown glass and integrated underneath the surface of the glass skin. We will re-visualize mathematical and physical phenomena such as chaos theory, infinity, and the endless variation of certain geometric patterns to engage both the wonder and the ambiguity of our perceptual faculties.
Through a combination of sketches, exercises in and outside of the hot shop and cold shop, and immediate sculptural responses in the material, students will work through the creative phases of observation, synthesis, and manifestation in an actively curious and catalytic environment and aim at working with glass for its untested potential of becoming something new.
Some previous experience with working with glass is beneficial and an open mind towards a conceptual approach to glass working is essential.