Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Shared Dialog of Heat and Glass

Richard Jones says that the art of blowing glass has changed some in the last 2000 years. But while there is new technology, like furnaces that heat to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, creating a mouth-blown glass object still begins by retrieving the molten glass at the end of a metal rod. It’s a process called gathering.

Material culture contributor Gianofer Fields paid Jones a visit in his studio recently, and he says that when you gather the dangerously hot material, it looks a lot like something sweet.

"When it's hot, you might compare it to honey...and then from there it's just about using centrifugal force of rotating the pipe, twirling it like a baton, and then it's constantly cooling down. As soon as you pull it out of the furnace, you're in this dialog with the heat," says Jones.

In a previous series, Pedestals for art of the Found World, Jones wanted to take a classic glass structure  convention such as the foot or a stem of a glass and then top it with a stage for special objects that hold meaning to the owner.

"I think of them as a way of honoring or framing these little moments that otherwise might be missed or cast aside," says Jones.

Material culture contributor Gianofer Fields curates the Radio Chipstone series - A project is funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.