Glass blowing

Billy- Dartington glass, head designer.

  • thick metal frames so glass doesn’t encase the frame casing cracks.
  • simple forms

Steve crystal, previous glass teacher at the royal college of art, restoration of antique glassware.

  • Thin wire, so there is less of a temperature shock reducing the risk of cracking
  • frames made of wire to allow for heat expansion of the glass blowing
  • low to no wire spout of neck to allow for glass to be broken off from the blowing pipe

Conflicting information from both sources, as they contradicted themselves according to thickness and materials of the frame.

These designs need to be able to be transferred in to ceramics in order for me to push my designs for my degree show. The concept of expanding a material is inspired by glass but i want the final product to be ceramic and steel/bronze. Out sourcing is perfectly acceptable and it will be an interesting development to see how the same design can differ between the two materials. Ceramic and bronze are very traditional material to me glass is new contemporary. Although glass is a well used an old technique the combination of metal and ceramic within the last year has been an exciting theme throughout my practice. i am also interested in the inspiration of glass blowing a s a contemporary technique with the traditional use of ceramic and bronze.

Steves advice of wire seems plausible with ceramics as i could use kiln wire either nichrome or kanthal wire to create the structure. If ceramic is capable of being expanded within this wire it can all be fired as one object. The potential native for this technique is the shrinkage of the clay may cause the clay to recede from the wire. If i am able to imprint the shape of the expansion process then there is not need for the wire to be fined with the clay.

Billy’s advice for a thicker frame specifically in bronze would only be able with ceramics if they are created as two separate objects and brought together after finishing. However the idea of creating an artefact that is one and does not consist of two components is ideal. which is not possible with bronze due to firing temperatures of the clay and the melting temperate of the bronze.


Professional progress

With the continuation of ceramic and metal home ware i would like to sell or represent my work in lifestyle shops such as Fig 1 in Totterdown, Bristol. Not only is this very local and in arts and culture scene but they carry work that fits with my style of making. Their description of the Wapping Warf website states;

The curated collection of unusual finds, kitchenware, lighting, books, prints and tabletop ceramics makes Fig1 the perfect spot for an mooch after lunch or the place to stop for a present on your walk home from town. The selection at Fig1 Wapping Wharf also includes jewellery, greetings cards and small items of furniture so there is plenty to browse through on an afternoon in the docks.

The collection of work varies kitchen ware lighting and furniture, among other object that sit at a slightly higher price range than cheaper commercial shops such as Tesco or IKEA. However I do not think the price range is too high as they are bespoke made object that are on trend. Shops such as these appeal to the everyday home owner who appreciate the objects they put in their home rather buy the cheapest out of necessity. (Fig1, wapping Warf)

I am also open to pop up shops such as the local artisan pop up shop in Cardiff arcade. This is where some makers are already exhibiting. It is a way to show and sell your work in short burst of time, as there is the insentive to buy it now or learn about the artist as they may not be there in the following days.


Local artisan pop up. Available at: Accessed on 12 Dec]

Wapping Warf, Fig1. Available at: [Accessed on 12 DEC]


With the frames i wanted to continue with bronze as its the colour  the strength but fluidity from the metal which is what i want. SO i decided to use the tig welding rods made of of bronze for the frames. i know that in the future these rods would not be strong enough for a proper frame but to represent my designs i thought they would be a good example.

i started to spot weld thin wire which created some good shapes but it was too think to support anything and get a good ideas if my designs would work. I also started to test precious metal clay, in sunny bronze from Prometheus. Which was interesting to work with a clay that when heated leaves a bronze deposit but it was very expensive and was very difficult to make a frame like structure as when it is wet it very flexible. Given more time and more experimenting time i could maybe make it would, but for now i would prefer to continue with metal rods.

I was planning of tig welding these to the joins would all be of the same material. However, as its is the depositing material even on the lowest setting the tig was just heating and melting all the product even the frames. this was not the best method.

Whilst i was down in the work shop i decided to MIG weld a mild steel frame. It came to my attention that the 4mm rods were to thick and bulky. I did not think it would be delicate looking to not over power the ceramic bowls. i also realised how my initial ideas of elevating the pots in a scale like design would work.

Going back to the bronze rods i tested soldering them, this worked although the kilns were fairly obvious. Silver soldering turned out to be very difficult and i could not manage to join the wires together very well. Continuing with soldering the first example was just to get a gist of how resistant wire would work around a vessel. i then unfortunately dropped the vessel but the cracks behind the frames added a wabi-sabi feel to the piece. It looks very similar to scaffolding which does bring in the contrast of urban structures and traditional throwing especially with wabi-sabi involved.

Moving on from this i started to design  structures that were similar to the original bowl. i made more slip cast and trimmed the bowls down making them smaller, to which i replicated the shapes with the interception in frames form.

I still love the shape of the angle intercepting but i don’t feel this design is moving on from the bowl, i wanted to push the shapes and forms and continue of from the bowl project. I started deigning around the thrown bowls i had made, experimenting with elevating them.

I think the elevation works on this design, as it makes the pot seem less bottom heavy and a bit more interesting. the triangular bottom leading to the hexagon around the width of a bowl is not towards the bowl as it to was a hexagon. However the shapes create a simple and very geometric pattern.

This is the preferred style of frame for the shape pots i had.

I created two test glazes one a pinky mauve that came out grey brown with odd pale pink streaks. i did not like this glazes its was muddy and looks sickly. The other glaze was supposed to be a dark green with red speckles but came out red but dark speckles.

Unfortunately the flat bottomed pots loses the point and contrast of the frames to the pot. The glaze mixed with the frames creates an oriental feel from the warm reds and golds. it is a theme that i would like to potentially explore further. As a well finished model of would i could potentially make I think it a s good progression from the bowl. it helped me define my work to home war and table wear, and that mixing of materials is the right choice. whether it is metal and ceramic or even metal and glass re mains to be seen through experimentation and research but i am happy to continue with this line of work. this design has taught me that slip cast would be more appropriate to capture the shapes and themes that i have been using up till this point, although i am glad to have used throwing and expand my kiln and ceramic knowledge.

Relevant Artists/Designers

Previous mentioned artists and designers.:

  • Richard Serra- posts – Ceramic and bronze, Pecha kucha,
  • Julian stair and Simone ten Hompel – ceramic and bronze, pecha kucha, Julian stair and \Simone Ten Hompel
  • Barbara Hepworth pecha kucha , researched for the form and use of bronze in her sculptures. fluidity, solidarity.
  • Amy Lawson- pecha kucha, New Designers
  • Anthony Milton – pecha kucha, New Designers

Instagram artists

Ane.c, Ane christensen Metal work, east London.

Metal work vessels combining both metal frames and geometric and biomorphic lines combined in to one vessel. the bowls are made of concave and convex shapes. Again this contrast of shapes inspired the mix of more organic forms mixed with geometric frames.   The objects Ane.c produces are more about form and their materiality than the physical function.

plaster, brass, copper , paper

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Erskinehallcoe – Erskine, Hall & Coe

“Koji Hatakeyama was born and grew up in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, renowned for metal casting. He makes unpretentious cast bronze brilliantly coloured articles, particularly lidded boxes, which he does not intend to be necessarily functional. He is more interested in the artistic and spiritual worth of a piece, in his words ‘every article I make should live’. He has exhibited widely in Japan and abroad and his work is in the permanent collections world wide. Our exhibition of his work, alongside works on paper by Matthew Harris is on at Erskine, Hall & Coe, in the Royal Arcade, till the 12th of January ” (Erskinehallcoe, instagram)

Thes boxes have been relevant to my project through the use of bronze and the geometric shape of the vessel. I am also thinking of exploring domestic accessories such as vases of boxes / containers. After finding this artist of Instagram i though i would try and find a red based glazes for the ceramic work as it works very well against the warm gold of the bronze. Although I am making work with contrasting elements i want to test a glaze that maybe inst too much of a contrast that flows well and is harmonious with the warm tones.

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Dissertation Reflection.

I found myself enjoying the actual writing of my dissertation. I found that by choosing a subject I am actually interested, that loosely links to my subject worked help me find motivation to write. However I did not have enough motivation do to the foundation work earlier on in the summer, if i could go back i would force myself to do so much more reading and note taking during this time. I can not even explain why i didn’t get my act together and do the work sooner. When it came to the few weeks before formative hand in I was incredibly stressed i had to do a lot of reading and the writing but again found my self enjoying a few of the books I used within the formative. It was a silly mistake which I  payed the price for during formative.

I am having issues splitting my week in to subject and dissertation time. I found I have not been able to focus on writing when my project is so up in the air and so close to the summative deadline for subject. I know I should not but I feel like I may have to reduce the dissertation work to just reading extra books during the term and focus more of the writing during Christmas. This will not be easy but I believe it is better to do this rather that procrastinating with Sennett’s ‘The Craftsman’ open in front of me for the whole day.

Another big worry for me is getting the dissertation technically correct, so getting the referencing correct, the abstract, making sure I do not plagiarise myself  and the structure to name a few points. I am confident enough that I will hand in a relatively okay piece of writing and I do not think I will fail. The fact that the dissertations hold so much weight in regards to credits accounting towards my degree is very scary, as I find this is not my strongest are.  I know not to let that worry me as from previous essay i have surprised my self and managed to achieve good marks, so with better time management i can achieve a good dissertation.

I am still worrying about the dissertation and am slightly anxious by the huge word count. The largest piece of writing I have previously had to do is 4000 and that was the proposal. So 8000-10,000 is a little bit daunting. I have left a lot of the work  till this term but there is nothing I can do except face the challenge, try to improve my time management skills and get on with it.

seasoning pots

At this point in knew i wanted to stick with table wear or home ware, to combine this i decided with the help from the feedback from a tutorial to make a seasoning pot it is table wear but not in the obvious sense, a seasoning pot can sit on the table or in the kitchen is is not like a bowl or plate but can still continue the theme of the table wear.

On a quick google search I found a few images of  seasoning pots, most of them are quite literally two pots or very gimmicky shapes like penguins holding hands.  I am more interested in the sets that a more simple that have texture of focus on the form and material. I like the pots with stands or spoons as it adds a little extra to the set up, and a contrast of materials.

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Here are a few more examples of seasoning pots on pinterest i like, again for its form and materials and use of stands and spoons. However there are all very organic or rustic and dont really include contrast between geometric and biomosphic. however this isnt necessarily a bad thing ass it potentially shows a gap in the market.


Google images, seasoning pots(2017) Available at: a bad thing as it hopefully shows a gap in the market GBGB765GB765&tbm=isch&q=seasoning+pots&chips=q:seasoning+pots,g_2:salt+and+pepper&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwijg7yvj4zYAhXKD8AKHcfaCb8Q4lYIKygA&biw=1396&bih=676&dpr=1.38. [Accessed on 15 Nov]


Second Artefact

As mentioned previously on “After the pitch” blog post table wear still interests me. The dichotomy of bronze and ceramic is something i really want to explore further as i feel it has a lot of potential that i yet to work with.  Although i regard the bowl a success, a lot can be improved on. In reality its not likely that someone would buy a bowl where part of the bowl is potentially toxic, even if I were able to use a food safe bronze it would be incredibly expensive to support the weight and process and the bronze.

If I want to continue on the path of ceramic bronze I ideally need to reduce the amount of bronze. I have recently been looking at the metal work on cafetieres. They are both functional yet have glass and metal incorporated in to the design. (cafetiere filter coffee)

This also got me thinking off glass and bronze. A lattice like metal structure with glass blown into the vessel, allowing the glass to bubble out between the metal. I have been in contact with my uncle who works at Dartington Crystal in Dartmoore asking about the possibility of blown glass and metal structure. I am now in contact with the designer who is the liaison between art colleges and the company i would like to explore glass as it is just as suitable and functional as ceramic but is a un developed material in my skills bank.

glass and metal email

Another area that i have researched that would not be available for many years if at all but it very interesting to learn about is spraying metal on to components. The chief engineer of Cremer (spraying company) very kindly emailed this link for me to research as a contextual research.

It is a process of heating in this case a bronze wire and ultimately sprayed by being finely pulverised, they use sand blasting to prepare the surface and coat the bronze in resin or oil depending of the function of the object. now this process is currently being used for large processing and engineering purposes such as resistors and silicon chip making facilities. Although this is very unlikely that i would be able to use the is process it is still incredibly interesting to see how bronze is still integrated in very advance techniques and processes. (Cremer, bronze coating)

For now i want to explore the development of frames and encapsulating the ceramic whilst still having the ceramic vessel visible. I took inspiration from Maya Selway who predominately does jewellery. However in a collect exhibition so showed delicate frames silhouetting bowls candle stick holders and more. These forms are very delicate and frame like. (Caroline banks)(collect london)



Cremer, Bronze coating. Available at: [ Accessed on 10 Nov]

Google images, cafetiere filter coffee. Available at [Accessed on 10 Nov]

Dartington crystal. Avaialble at on 10 Nov]

caroline banks, blog. available at [Accessed on 10 Nov]

Google images, ceramic and metal. Available at [Acessed on 10 Nov]