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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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]

Getsumkunstwerk Bowl

The Getsumkunstwerk project was initialy from a presentation of several works that help create a picture of our “ideal object”. From this the group gave us a list of words or characteristic that got from our presentation. WE then had to pick 6 words from this list that we really felt summarised our ideal object, form this we were to make a bowl using these words. The Words that i choose were:

  • Contrast
  • Materiality
  • Honest
  • Functional
  • Engineering
  • Metal

The finished bowl consisted of two hexagonal bowls both cut at angles. The bowls were made so that the outer bowl mad of bronze which has an aesthetic purpose but also supports and protects the inner ceramic bowl. this is the more functional of the two bowls in a domestic context.


My bowl has meet all 6 requirements for this project as it has not only material but colour contrast. Metal is my preferred medium although I do like to experiment and try other materials metal specifically bronze is my favourite medium. The process of pouring and finish bronze is very extensive , high of risk and exciting. However the way the strong and solid material can portray such fluid forms and the warmth in its finishes when most metal are coll and chrome is fascinating to me. Ceramic is a very versatile and to me precious material, its ranges in form, methods, glazes and process are extensive and quite freeing if you have the patience. They are almost polar opposite materials in terms of fragility, making and finish, they work beautifully together although they are distinctly different.

The Bowl is also about the material its form how the planes of the hexagon intercept.  The bowls presence as an object. And how the two bowls can be separated or used as one. The materials are honest in their finishes and purpose as a functional object, one for domestic use the other for visual and to support. Although coloured glazes and patination of the bronze would not discredit the fact the bowl is bronze and ceramic I still choose to finish them in more honest and simple way. The white and bronze are polished but natural finish which create striking contrast between the two layers which still sitting in harmony together.

The ceramic bowl can hold food, liquids or  object just as the bronze bowl can hold non consumer able object and the ceramic. However together they create one object one that is usable and safe. i would like to explore other routes where i can use hopefully bronze but if not another casting metal that is food safe. The problem of having a bronze vessel is that a customer could easily use it for products that can be consumed even with warnings. The bowl is still usable even for food just no the bronze part of it. For decoration or holding objects it is 100% usable.

It took many weeks to engineer this bowl. It involved a lot of calculation and trial and error to make a two 6 sided angled bowls that fit inside each other, whilst working with different shrinkage’s from two materials. They both took different time frames and processes and techniques to make.  This is the most difficult object I have made to date, my skills were thoroughly challenged in this project.


IF there were more time or i knew alot of what i had learnt then i would have taken the time to properly work out how the shrinkage would affect the materials and therefore the fit of the bowls. I would also have liked to taken more time in finishing polishing and refining the bowls. as a few days are not enough to finish the bronze bowl to a high standard. I would also like to go back a re make my slip casting mould i did not make a funnel of sort to the edge of the cast would have been more precise.

However, i ma proud of the bowl it is one of the most complex thing i have made and it did push me. but most importantly to me it gave to the motivation to continue on with the combination of bronze and ceramic. There are aspects of the bowl and my processes that i can improve on but i have made a bowl that i am proud of. The most successful part for me is the visual of the two angels meeting. The interception is defined even more by the contrasting white and bronze. This is what i want to explore further.




After the Pitch

current bowl:

after feed back in the pitch I started to think about whether the current design and path way of table wear is suited to me a maker.  The bowl is heavy, which meas it is clunky and would cost a lot. with the current design of two flat bowls that sit within each other the bronze has no use. why use both bowls together when you could just use the ceramic bowl. however if the bronze bowl is the support for the ceramic bowl which could not stand by itself, would be a hindrance. Also i enjoy the aspect of intercepting planes but  dont feel like the geometric shapes represents my potential practice.

I want to stay working with bronze, i love the materiality of bronze. they way you can use what is a very brittle and rigid materials but create a very fluid even globular form with the material. compared to many other materials i feel the colouring even without patina has such warmth. the warm yellow or bronze tones give me a bigger sense of character for the material than steel or iron.

i think bronze has a connotation of luxury, with a big sense of tradition or historical value. Its a weighty material that takes time and resources to make the material. It is not the cheapest material or widely functional.

potential ideas

  • Continue with table wear but more delicate and simplified
  • coffee tables
  • lighting
  • items of value
  • small things, door handles, handheld mirrors, candelabra

valued objects

1# – phone laptop, stuffed toy

2#  – jewellery, stuffed toy, photographs,

3# – Irish wishing stone, books, pliers

4#  – guitar, beautiful utilitarian, knifes, pots, bronze zippo, up cycled bottle opener, novel and strange

5# – laptop, phone, bed

would any of these objects suit bronze? deciding from and making objects inspired by items of worth is a key point. I want to create objects that instigate value in the owner or user. But i feel like the list above has potential but is currently just me fishing and forcing ideas.

Furniture – again not a bad option has potential but i am not massively interested in furniture. In the future wit could be an interesting route to explore but right now i don’t feel like this is the best option for my ideas and for bronze. not 100% dismissing the idea though.

lighting- very interesting now that have researched and see the working bronze lighting i think it is a very good idea. Particularly inspired by Dubloons project Akaroa lighting.

However i keep coming back to table wear i don’t feel like i have experimented enough to give in firm no to the idea of bronze and ceramic in a domestic setting as table wear.

I have been inspired by forms such as hammered bronze, dripping bronze, textured bronze being used as a holder or delicate casing based of cafetieres, only for support and small amount of decoration,