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"glass" Category


A visit in Pieke Bergmans studio


Saturday, December 10, 2016

 

 

At the moment you are exhibiting in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam with your installation Phenomeneon. Now I am really excited being here in your studio in Amsterdam to talk about your projects and you as an artist.

 

 

There is surprisingly much space in here. In what kind of room are we?

It is an old factory building. We actually just moved into this studio a few weeks ago. So we are still in progress about rearranging the space, like removing the ceiling and creating small office rooms. There are not a lot of my works here yet but I can show you around…

 

The Phenomeneon project gets a lot of admiration with its mesmerizing appearance. I am really interested in the production process and the applied techniques. Could you tell me more about it?

Yes, sure. Not everyone realizes that light in this case is gas. People think it is a really new technique, but it is actually an old one. I do like light a lot. It is a very beautiful material to work with and I discovered many different effects. People are getting so much information nowadays it is hard to get their attention. But in this case I think it is a perfect combination of technique and mystery.

 

Phenomeneon-Cloud-Pieke-Bergmans-2016-photo-Mirjam-Bleeker-12-400x600Phenomeneon-Cloud-Pieke-Bergmans-2016-photo-Mirjam-Bleeker-1-900x600

 

When you mention the mystery it makes me think about the moment when walking closer to the installation and realizing that the neon light moves through the organically shaped glass. The light runs through it and you start to follow its way.

Exactly! That makes it feel alive.

 

Are the organic shapes made to play with the intensity of the light?

The intensity of the light is defined by the width and length of the glass. In the end it is just playing. Its like a three dimensional painting. Like when you have a brush and you choose the pressure of your brushstroke.

 

I can really see how playful you shaped the glass. Are there any other factors affecting the form?

Yes. The installation consists of seven separate parts. It was difficult to do because they are all handmade and quite big. The biggest one is almost six meters.

 

Phenomeneon-Cloud-Pieke-Bergmans-2016-photo-Mirjam-Bleeker-7-900x600Phenomeneon-Cloud-Pieke-Bergmans-2016-photo-Mirjam-Bleeker-15-400x600

 

You cannot see where they are connected which gives the impression of one very long piece and makes me question the process.

It starts sometimes with a simple observation. I was questioning why neon light is always a straight tube. Most people saw the shape as a limitation, for me it is more a possibility. With the understanding of the technique I could have come up with so many ideas about the design. One reason for the process and especially the shapes of this project is that I am a person that is always interested in setting things free.

 

How is that combinable with your background as a product designer? I can imagine in this area the focus is more on creating something specific.

Yes. It is mostly about creating something perfect. I basically didn’t believe in that concept. That is why I turn nowadays much more to art. I try to stretch the borders within the functionality. But now I am also more free about creating something that has nothing to do with functionality even if I started from this ‘other world’.

 

Do you have an idea of an aesthetic that deeply touches you — an idea of personal beauty in ‘your world’?

Yes and that’s only for myself. I have no idea what the public thinks. I am not commercial in that sense. I don’t do works someone else wants. I think it is a power within the simplicity. Like this table over there. Its so simple but at the same time it is fragile and the surface a bit wobbly. You are wondering if it collapses or not. So it is also about the balance. I am looking for this tension. I like to use things that already exist in my environment and I take them out of their context. If I work with big companies then often lots of things are possible. All the equipment is available. It happens fast that things are getting too complex. Then it looses its quality. I am striving for purity and simplicity.

 

Do you think mass-produced objects have less individual quality?

Oh, I don’t think there is such thing in mass-production. Every object is exactly the same. The best design is multiplied: ‘the Golden Mean’[x]. I don’t want to judge mass production because its designed for optimal purpose. But if you study nature, then everything is unique. You can not find one olive tree that is the same. Not one animal or human. We are all different. Thats why I create production lines that produces unique objects. It would be great if people would spend a tiny little moment to witness these individual unique differences. It is hard to make people feel something or even make them wonder.

When I was studying I really admired a lot of designers or artists for their capability and their way of looking at things. I also really understood that it was not my way. But when you are young you are not really sure about your way. That is sometimes a bit confusing. So you have to find your own strength, your true fascination. And after some time by simply doing you feel more and more secure and comfortable in choosing what you want to do. At the end it is about experience I would say.

 

I read an article where you said you take already existing working processes and change them to give materials space to let them expand in their natural way. What is your fundamental inspiration concerning your working process?

If I compare my own mind to nature I am a bit disappointed. Because whatever nature is doing in terms of gravity or elasticity or any other effects basically — I could have never come up with this. The result is so much better than everything I could have ever designed. So I just started going into the direction of letting things happen. But of course in a quite distinguished research. I have to do it over and over again until I understand why and what happens when. And then I pick out something to focus on.

 

Do you have plans for further projects based on the idea of Phenomeneon?

Yes, for sure because now we developed the techniques and finally we can start to play. Basically I am looking forward to the opportunities in the future. To be able making more things happen within the world of Phenomeneon. If you discovered something you are really fascinated about, I think it is important that you spend some time in making more pieces because mostly they get better and better.

 

 

Check out Pieke Bergmans official website to see more.

 

 

Personal Mass


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I decided to visit a glass factory, I met Just who controls the machines that generates 200.000 beer bottles per 8 hours. I wanted to see the mass production of daily glass objects, wine glass, beer bottles etc. The contrast between the two images that glass has: The cheap, functional mass product and the crafted, expensive, complicated, cultural acknowledged glass, was clearly visible in the factory visiting the production part and the craftsman department. Both in the same factory, two completely different stories.
I decided to learn to make my own hand crafted beer bottle to combine the cheap image of a beer bottle with the expensive one of crafted glass. This process was longer, intenser, more impossible and way more difficult then I ever thought. In the end this process, of searching for  methods getting to know the material (a little bit) and working together with all the elements that need to be just right in order for the glass to do what you want it to do, took over the functionality of the bottle.
You work in service of the glass, if not it will master you. I had to adept towards what the glass needed, the time, the pressure, temperature. I could wish for all that I wanted but there was only one way to go. The focused and calm research of the glass. It feels silly or a bit like a cliche, but the glass forced me to work in a way which I often try but where I also often fail, it made me really be in the process.

 

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Measuring the bottle  Blow a bubble Take glass two times

Blow

Shape it Glass to thin at the bottom Broke when putting in cool down oven Blow a bubble

                                     Take glass two times

Blow

Bubble a bit small

IMG_1144

Shape it

When putting in the oven    Broke

Blow a bubble     Take glass two times   Really hot Blow   Bubble a bit small     Shape it     Put in oven  Heavy

Blow a bubble        Shape it         Really thin glass      Broke when putting in the oven

 

Get a piece of colored glass    Blow a bubble     Take glass two times

 

 

IMG_1149

Shape

                             Blow

                                                   Shape
Bottom to thin
Broke when putting in the oven

Get two pieces of colored glass  Mix them Blow a bubble   Take glass two times

Shape

Blow

Shape

IMG_1143

Open cold wind

Glass cools down

Falls off

Broke

 

Make shape in sand  Make sand wet Poor glass into shape  Sand to wet starts to boil  Making a glass volcano

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Making a mold from plaster  Get glass  Blow a bubble More glass                 Blow  More glass  Blow  More glass

                                                                                                 Blow

Turn a lot

Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature Open mold Let the mass sink perfect timing closing the mold

Press mold as tight as possible

IMG_1330

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Press

Open mold Take out the glass

Cool a bit

Make a cutting line Glass to cool for cutting line Broke

Fall down Transfer to cool down oven asap

IMG_1337

Blow Turn a lot  Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature

Open mold Let the mass sink Perfect timing closing the mold

Press mold as tight as possible

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

PPPPPPPFFFFFFFFF

Press Open mold                 To little glass and to cool                     Take out the glass

Cool a bit and Transfer to cool down oven asap

Get colored glass Making a mold form plaster Blow a bubble

Get more glass Blow   More glass Blow   More glass  Blow    More glass

                                                                  Wait

IMG_0024

turn a lot Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature Open mold Guide mass of glass bubble into mold Let the mass sink Way to hot and to much glass Drops quickly to the bottom Try to safe glass by pulling the pipe all the up                Pressing the mold

Blowing

Pressing

Blowing

pressing

Glass goes trough the sides of the mold Open mold Glass still soft

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Rest glass on floor get gloves Pick up glass  Bring to cool oven

 

HEAD JEWELRY


Monday, December 1, 2014

Vaclav Cigler is a czech artist mostly known for his pioneering work in glass. Since the 1950s, Cigler has focused on glass sculpture and is still today considered as one of the preeminent artists working in glass. My interest in his work though did not develop from one of his glass sculptures but from an image of a mannequin head wearing a mysterious head jewelry exhibited in Stedelijk Museum.

Head Jewelry by Václav Cigler[x]

The jewelry consists of two galvanised brass circles put together, one that is fitting the circumference of the head and one attached to the other and placed in front of the face. The placing of the circle in front of the face affects the vision of the person wearing the jewelry. It becomes a frame through which the person watch the surroundings and in that way it changes and disturbs the perception. Furthermore the circled brass acts like mirrors: when angled, it gives the wearer a view of the room or of the people around which allows the possibility of intimate eye contact or covert observation. Imagining a lot of people walking around with this jewelry in the context of today it easily could be considered as some sort of electronic device attached to the head with a chip improving human possibilities. Or it could be a future, simplified version of virtual reality glasses having an invisible screen circled around the head. Especially the aspect of the mirror in the circle makes it relatable to virtual reality where the people around and the room then adapts into the screen of the virtual reality so it becomes this interaction between physical- and virtual reality.

When looking through some of Cigler’s work in glass it becomes clear that he is very interested in the human perception. That is also one of the reasons for his consistent interest in the work with glass because it is possible to create a new and different vision in that medium.

“…Glass is the most imaginative material that man has ever created. The presence of glass in a human space conditions not only the space itself but also an as the user. Glass is for me a pretext for expressing a different spatial and emotional perception of the world. A perception made unique by the optical means offered by this material, as well as by the new possibilities for using it in space… in glass, there’s the authenticity of the material, the discovery that it has uncommon optical and material properties, such as malleability. Glass by itself is a sufficient source of inspiration.”

Vane 2008 by Václav Cigler [x]

The sculpture “Vane” made in 2009 is an optical glass with an aperture in the center that gives an undistorted view of the landscape. A new visual perspective is given and what is seen is a collage space of reality.

In 1960 the phrase “Cyborg” was coined in a story called “Cyborgs and Space” and was used to describe a human being augmented with technological attachments which I find very interesting to put in relation with Cigler’s Head Jewelry. Manfred Clynes, being the inventor of the word cyborg, considered it as more human which is a contradiction to how it is generally perceived as something inhuman. But there is something interesting towards understanding or maybe even accepting a direct interaction between organisms and technology in order to enlarge the human experience.

You can question the definition of a cyborg and maybe this is also what Clynes is already pointing out; are all humans cyborgs? We do include both organic and inorganic subsystems. Inorganic systems being for instance prosthetic limbs or vaccinations that program the immune system in our bodies. At least it could be argued that we are living a cyborgian existence. A cyborg society has developed where the connection between organic and machine systems is extremely complex and inescapable.

A more direct example of a cyborg, or maybe as direct as most people would understand the definition of a cyborg, is Neil Harbisson. He is even considered to be the world’s first cyborg with an antenna attached to the back of his skull dangling over his forehead very similar to the shape of the head jewelry. Harbisson sees in grayscale but the antenna allows him to hear the color spectrum, even the colors that are beyond the range of human sight.

Neil_Harbisson_cyborgist

Neil Harbisson[x]

He considers his decision of becoming a cyborg as an artistic statement: “I’m treating my own body and brain as a sculpture”. He is working with human perception using his own body as medium whereas Cigler uses glass to create different perceptions. Moreover, Cigler viewed jewelry as landscape for the human body as a means of connecting the body with its environment. Harbisson is literary connected with his surroundings by having the antenna which he considers just as much a part of him as any other organ or body part. Aesthetically the two objects, Head Jewelry and Eyeborg (what Harbisson calls his antenna), look very alike with their minimalistic characteristic but also their function has a lot in common if not considering the advanced technological aspect of the Eyeborg. What is interesting is how much an object can become a part of a human being and if it is really possible to not consider it as an object but as an organ. This also leads back to an acceptance of this cyborgian society that is already a reality. If a person got used to wearing the head-jewelry and seeing the surroundings through it, that is, having extra angles and the capability of observing secretly would this jewelry then also be thought of as a body part?

Stedelijk Design Show 2015 /Relevant Highlights


Monday, December 1, 2014

 

16 Rietveld Basic Year students visited the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum to examine the items in the permanent survey of the design collection.

Does the Stedelijk exhibit all these design items simply because they are in their depot.

Do the collection criteria still have any significance today.

Do these design items have any relevance for us, our life or work,now? Is it possible to make a clear statement about that.

If you click on the image a caption will appear –just as a in a real museum– presenting information and a personal reflection on why that item is considered relevant. You can review the whole exhibition in pop-up mode.

 

click on images to visit the exhibit

Gijs_Bakker_Waterman_2_Cropped

modelWieke_stool_SM

PatrickJouinWelcome-To-The-StoreBeowatch_SM2

tafel-stoelunfolded

DSC_0321 Schuitema_300

superstudio_gherpe_flippedVaclavCigler_headband

cow-chair_flipped Paulina_glass

 

“Ultima Thule” Tapio Wirkkala


Friday, March 8, 2013

A dinner service “Ultima Thule” made by Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala in 1968 was the most attractive object in design part of the Stedelijk museum. Tapio was a post-modern designer/sculptor. He was designing jewelery, ceramics, furniture for mass production, individual sculptures. One of his most famous design is for example a Finlandic vodka bottle.The dinner service was designed for the IIttala, a popular shop which collects Scadinavian designs of products for living, dining, decorating and giving. Tapio designed more than 400 different art glass objects and glassware series for iittala. The old term “Ultima Thule” meant the most northern, most demanding and at the same time most venerated place in the world. Tapio Wirkkala was directly inspired but the Arctic mystique, Finland’s wintry landscape and glassclear ice. The glasses was intended to represent the dripping and refreezing ice drops from the glacial landscapes of Finland. The technique for making these beautiful objects is called the ice glass technique, and Wirkkala himself was involved in developing and perfecting it over a period of many years. This techniqueis is achieved by blowing the glass into a wooden mold. The trick is to know when to stop blowing as the colours and patterns change as the hot glass burns the wooden surface of the mold as it begins to cool. For me personally the service looks like it was left for the whole summer night in the garden and  covered it the morning with a dew underneath. It gives me immediately the impression of having a water on my hands and the smell of a beautiful summer morning, feels like holidays.  The piece reminds me also of the work by Hans Haacke “condensation cube”. “Ultima  Thule” I can also relate to my grand mother’s desert plates. They were not exact same copies of the Wirkkala’s piece. They had more linear structure but the surface of the glass feelt the same when you touch both the objects. In my opinion it is definitely one of the best glass designs made in 19th century.

We sense volume before we can articulate it


Friday, October 19, 2012

 

Marie De Bruyn makes monumental objects out of hand blown glass alongside video work and wooden constructions resulting in hybrid installations. Apart from the making process she is interested in integrating objects in a specific setting, creating atmospheres where the viewer can engage in a physical relation towards the objects and their surrounding space. Similar to Brancusi’s sculptural permutations – arranging and re-arranging the space in between his sculptures – the placing of an object is as important as the object itself.

Her work is about the relation between the perception of inner and outer. ‘How do we deal with our (surrounding) space? How do we position ourselves towards ourselves, the people around us, and the objects taking place in a given situation?’ The theses then discusses the function of the surrounding in the work of Dan Graham and those of body and space in the work of Richard Serra

 


Download thesis : We sence volume before we can articulate it [in dutch]

[images of Marie de Bruyn's graduation show

 

Heavenly Glass


Monday, November 28, 2011

 

The first time I went to the Tuschinksi theater I must have been somewhat around 10 years old. It made a huge impression on me, between all the ugly stores and cheap restaurants, a beautiful building with butterfly cocoons and metal trees.

Remembering this I decided to rediscover this building when we got the assignment on the “Wendingen” magazines.

So with my camera I went there, the building was still as impressive (looking a bit smaller though) and from the entrance to the loge it was a real joy. There is so much detail at first it looks like scribbling, but after a while I could focus on individual parts  of the interior. Behind the bar there are three heads, enlisted by glass birds in blue and yellow. The walls mostly covered by paintings and endless woodwork. And the many lamps, in all possible shapes. Mostly they look like stylized insects.

But when I asked a lady if she maybe had some information on the theater and the lamps and glass-work specifically, she told me no. Also, sadly, I could not go past the entrance hall. Luckily I was allowed to take some pictures [x].

(more…)

GRANDMASTER FLASH OF DUTCH DESIGN


Monday, March 7, 2011

This description appeared in my research on the Amsterdam residential graphic designer/teacher Karel Martens.

His name was stored in my memory, but I didn’t know anything about him, probably because I’m Danish and just moved here. I guess every Dutch person would or should know him or at least his works, in fact even touched them. He designed coins, stamps, phone cards and signs.

€ 5 (Queen) Beatrix and Vincent (van Gogh) coins

His style is very clean I would say; clear colours overlapping each other and forming a new colour. But what I really found interesting about his works is his way of translating a language or information into form or grid; his own new language.

proposal for a festive sheet of good-will stamps. The design was never executed

A good example of that is the façade he did of the philharmonic in Haarlem. It is situated in front of the big old church St. Bavo. I found some pictures on the Internet, but they didn’t give me the right impression, so I went to Haarlem to see it in real life.

The philharmonic building itself is very old, but as part of its recent restauration he designed this modern glass façade around the entrance and on a piece of wall high in the air.

Philharmonie in Haarlem

l: the view of the glass facade from the church / r: glass facade entrance

(more…)

Shape beyond functionality


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shapes contain shapes.

This pipe is a monument.

The company designed the pipe to be feminine. An infinite triangle, with an elitist and delicate exterior shape, but at the same time graphic and geometric. Frail but strong.

A woman.

The pipe contains more shapes in the shape. Pipoo 8 has three shapes. The lower dark trapezium made of briar, the transparent upper part made of acrylic and a black plastic cylinder.

We can admire her. How two different materials become unified shapes that contain inside the black cylinder, making a unity of one strict object. There is no possibility to change it, I must accept how it is.

About 15 cm long, it can become part of your body but you can also compare it to a Bic, looking like something alien.

It’s gorgeous.

This is not a vase. It is Carnival.

The vase contains more shapes in a shape. It has three shapes. A wooden rectangular with sharp edges leaning 8 degrees towards the right. A fluorescent green rectangular with rounded corners made out of cardboard, whereas its centre has a phallic transparent glass.

Mike Kelley once said: “With my work I not only want to reach the most educated viewer, but the most lazy viewer as well”.

About 44 centimeters high. Screaming for attention. One cannot avoid the sight of this illuminating green situation.

It’s a glossy disaster.

The ‘Wiener Werkstätte’ and the concept ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

At the beginning of the 20th century Josef Hoffmann, Kolo Moser and the industrialist Fritz Werndorfer founded the ‘Wiener Werkstätte’. In order to protect traditional handicraft from mass-production they designed exclusive handmade everyday objects and gave them the aura of art. At the same time they tried to find an alternative to old representative art forms favored by the rulers of Austria which shaped the picture of Vienna at this time. When they started to design architecture which they filled with their handmade furniture and their handmade objects their work became a concept that led to an idea of a different society based on pure aesthetics: they tried to create a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’.

Under which circumstances could such a concept develop? The design of the ‘Wiener Werkstätte’ is still very modern and popular while the concept of the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ is not relevant anymore. But why? Do we need a similar utopia today? If one wants to get an idea ‘why’ one has to take a closer look at the development of the concept ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ in relation to its historic background.

Wiener_Werkstätte


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