I had worked through trial and error for two years in my studio, pushing my way through a number of challenges that had to be solved. How to support the pieces during the firing, What binders will burn out stain free, how to construct the supporting structures onto which the pastes are applied, how to solve drying shrink and firing shrink…
Two years earlier, when I applied for the Technology Advancing Glass Art Grant in the summer of 2014 I had only started working on this method and had not much more than a vague idea of what might be possible. Seeing the potential but also the amount of resources it would take to become serious about developing this process I submitted my application to the TAG Grant. Without the commitment I had entered into through receiving the TAG Grant I would have abandoned the project at some point. It has been a very difficult process.
In the summer of 2016 I started the Specialty Glass Residency at the Corning Inc. research Facility in Sullivan Park. Together with Dr. Patrick Teppesch we refined pastes and created new ones. This half year in 2016 was the most exciting time, because I wasn’t alone in a less than ideal studio situation, without tools and materials, but connected to a facility where any chemical is available, measuring techniques and charting was a given part of the process. It was an environment set up to do just what I needed.
A lot of my time was taken up by creating pastes. What I had applied to the TAG Grant with was the need of rapid prototyping for this project.
Removing the plaster silica mold from creating pate de verre, I had to come up with other materials onto which the glass paste could be applied. The first paste I developed was the spreadable paste. Cardboard was an easily moldable material out of which almost anything can be constructed. In the beginning I would cut the cardboard models by hand, spending days to cut, crease and fold up three-dimensional geometric forms onto which I could brush the glass paste.