Craft Contemporary 2021 - A festival celebrating the handmade

Craft Contemporary 2021 - A festival celebrating the handmade

In October 2021 Mark launches his virtual exhibition Light and Shadow. Inspired by light refracting through different glass textures and colours, immerse yourself in the world of glass art beyond the physical plane.


Hand-blown studio glass inherently has it's own unique quality due to the nature of the material. Small blemishes, bubbles and other effects naturally emerge out of the material's surface, forming part of it's distinctive hand-crafted characteristics. An extension of this idea is to experiment within the glass to create different effects utilising internal and external light sources.


1. Colour Effects


Within the glass palette there are both opal and transparent variants in colour. The use of frit (which is chips of glass), broken shards of glass and powder all in varying combinations create different effects.



2. Bubble Effects


The use of bicarb soda is a tool to create bubbles within the glass. Encapsulating the soda between layers of glass creates small gas pockets and the bubble itself. This can be controlled by how much soda is applied and between which layer it sits in.


3. Bubble Effects with Undulations


Similar to the bubble effect whilst using bicarb soda, but the dinting of the external surface adds to the water ripple effect.


4. Optical Mould


The optical mould effect is created mid way through the blowing process by blowing into a ribbed mould to create texture. The desired form is then blown, and when finished will have the surface texture of this optical effect.


5. Crackle Effect


The use of crackled effects is another technique to create an organic crazed pattern that echo stone or other natural surfaces. Layering colour on the outer surface before crackling can produce interesting points of effects using this technique.


Crackle effect is achieved mid way through the process submerging the hot glass in water. The length of submersion cools the outer layer, whilst the inner layer is still hot enough to blow and expand the bubble. Timing with this process varies the texture and during the time of inflation the outer crust stays crackled while the inner lining of the bubble expands. Interestingly, if an outer colour is used with this technique, the crazed lines would be more visible being transparent.



6. Stringers


Fine threads of glass called stringers can be applied on the outer surface of the hot glass, splintering the light in different ways depending on how thick and randomly the stringers are applied.


Using the toolbox of glass effects in combination with different internally lit light sources and external light sources greatly vary the mood of an interior. This project explores that idea.


Craft Contemporary is a month-long festival exploring how craft is evolving in the 21st century across objects, jewellery, furniture, fashion, contemporary art and design. The festival showcases new approaches, ideas and experimentation by today’s makers through a full program of exhibitions, talks, demonstrations and events across Victoria and online.

Presented by Craft Victoria throughout October, the festival celebrates community and the shared human impulse to create.

Craft Contemporary is supported by the City of Melbourne

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