Glass artist Matthew Szösz is challenging the way art glass is made. When I first saw his work, I assumed it was just inflatable plastic, but after watching a time-laps video of the creation of one of his pieces, I realized I was looking at something very, very different. Not only are they not made of plastic, they’re not even blown glass! His process involves cutting out pieces of flat glass, then assembling them with something called ceramic paper between the layers, overlapping only the edges of the glass pieces which fuse together. The paper is used commercially as an insulator in things like car mufflers and can withstand high temperatures, protecting the things underneath. It really is a stroke of genius to use the material in this way to make art.
Once his pieces are fired in the kiln, they are removed and quickly inflated using compressed air. It takes many tries to get just one non-broken piece, but the resulting objects are really interesting.
“There is very little shaping that can be done during the inflation, so the process relies entirely on the preparation of the material. Once you pull it out to inflate it, what you get is what you get.”– Matthew Szösz
I don’t think I need one of these in my house, but I’m really enjoying looking at them!