My Methods and Techniques

My work is focussed around kiln forming glass, and my main interest is with the technique known as ‘pâte de verre’ which is one of the oldest forms of glass working. It dates back to the Ancient Egyptians, and has had several revivals notably by French artists in the 19th Century who gave the technique its current name ‘pâte de verre’ which literally means ‘paste of glass’.

Most of my work begins as ideas modelled in clay. The clay is my formulating media. It is the most perfect three dimensional drawing medium, immediately responsive to changes in ideas and direction.

The process involves:
Making a model of the intended form in clay or wax, and then developing a mould from it.
The mould is made from a refractory investment capable of withstanding high temperatures. Glass is then crushed into various size granules which are mixed with a binder to hold them together. These are carefully placed into the mould. The glass is then kiln fired to temperatures around 800˚ - 850˚C The difference between pâte de verre and a cast is that the coloured glass is carefully placed in position before kiln firing rather than relying upon the random movements of hot molten glass during the casting process. It produces a more controlled image. The majority of my recent work explores the opaque qualities, rather than the normally associated, and more commonly exploited, shiny, reflective and refractive qualities. The result is that the work looks more akin to stone than glass as we have come to know it. My chosen media at the moment is re-cycled glass in the form of wine, spirit and beer bottles. The earthy greens and browns offer a colour palette that suits the nature and subject of my forms.

A number of images below show the pathway followed as a piece of work edges towards its final form.

  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Stage 1 - Outlining the form
  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Stage 2 - Filling the form
  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Stage 3 - Smoothing the surface
  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Stage 4 - Opening the fissure
  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Stage 5 - Embedding inclusions
  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Stage 6 - Graphited mould
  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Stage 7 - Prior to firing
  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Stage 8 - Finished work
  • G F Jackson Glass Artist Fissure detail

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