Monthly Archives: July 2014

living up to my name, glass, GRAAL

Graal was a technique developed by Swedish artists early last century. A ball shape with an outer colour is made, cooled and engraved with a design. Keeping in mind this will be heated, covered with an outer layer of clear glass then blown into its final shape.A strange uncertainty about the end result.
I have planned to reference ancient Chinese blue and white porcelain, of the Yuan and Ming periods using traditional shapes, colors and themes.They have an incredible understanding of the “Albers effect” and use their color to maximum effect. The depictions of daily life are marvelous, and I can use social observations of today with a sense of humor or biting reality.
Drawings for the design, research and friends Ho and Hum.
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Drill engraving the design, takes a while with forethought and planning.
“Vincents windows” for van Gogh. Mainly “ariel”technique which uses sharp deep cuts to trap air bubbles.
“Grans exercise yard” Maybe a bit cruel, but I feel for the older folk who like it or not have to care for the children when both parents MUST work to get a living.
“Children Playing” (wa-wa) Lots of fun with a sting in the tail, their toys change into the threats they will face in life. More focus on carving and too little on design at this stage.
Glass blower Philip Stokes studies the hot parison of “windows” before it is coated.Note the size.
After being dipped into the vat of molten glass, it needs working to keep connected and begin shaping.
A swing uses centrifugal force to lengthen the work.Don’t try this at home with hot glass children.
Applying a blue thread to the neck top to balance the shape design. A traditional “Rouleau” shape.
Flattening the base for the “Grans”, a very different shape.
Working for the shoulder and a small neck for this “Mei Ping” shape vessel.
Heating the neck in the glory hole. Whatever part needs working gets the most heat treatment.
Early working of “Children at Play. Intense detail and shading stayed with it.
Base being worked. I love this pic. for the teamwork it shows.The boss gives instructions, stop, blow or whatever and everyone knows what to do.
The finished about to be put away, in a traditional chinese Jar shape. Amazing to see the dark base and collar fit in well, with the toys around the shoulder. This ended up twice original size, without loss of detail or the distortion I was expecting.
The 3 are annealing and I will pick up on the weekend. Final photos next week. After making boxes they are into the study folio with enormous pride. An amazing experience to watch the incredible skill and experience used to bring my plans and dreams into reality.