The combination of glass and ceramics as a means of artistic expression in studio practice
Kelly, Jessamy (2009) The combination of glass and ceramics as a means of artistic expression in studio practice. PhD thesis, University of Sunderland.
This practice-led research investigates the feasibility of combining glass and ceramics in a hot state, as a means of artistic expression in studio practice. Glass and ceramics have many related material qualities and are processed in similar ways. Chemically they are alike however structurally they are very different, which creates compatibility problems when they are combined in a hot state. Through controlled processing, material properties can alter when each is partially converted into the other. It is recognised by artists in the field of studio
ceramics that porcelain can partially convert into a glassy form when high fired to create a translucent material. Likewise it is recognised in the field of industrial engineering that glass can partially convert into a ceramic form when processed in a controlled way to create a glass-ceramic material; this material is not used by practitioners and would be difficult to develop in a studio environment. A total of 43 contemporary practitioners were found that worked in both glass & ceramics in their work. Of these only 16 practitioners combined glass and ceramics in a hot state, the majority combined them in a cold state to avoid compatibility issues. It became apparent that there is a distinct lack of published material on the combination of glass and ceramics in studio practice. It was the aim of this investigation to address this gap by identifying and testing potential hot state processing routes. This research addresses these issues through a multiple-method approach rooted in creative practice; directed by the following aims:
• To develop the practical and creative parameters of the combination of glass and ceramics in a hot state.
• To demonstrate and articulate the possible creative and practical benefits of the new processing routes as a model for practitioners in the field.
• To articulate the significance of the research methods and results through the mapping of the field.
Material testing was focused on artistic practice and experimentation which identified the creative parameters of combining glass and ceramics in a hot state, four potential process routes that combine glass and ceramics in a hot state were identified and tested. This testing was further extended and supported by the application of compatibility studies, which helped to match the expansion rates of glass and ceramics when they are combined. Bone china was identified as the closest fit to glass in terms of expansion rates; quartz was added to further improve the fit of the materials. Case studies of artists that work in glass and
ceramics have been used to position the research within the field. New insights have emerged into the combined processing of glass and ceramics in a hot state. This approach offers a series of potential processing routes to be viewed as a model for others in the field. The final submission includes a thesis, a series of materials tests, and a body of related artworks that demonstrate the hot state combination of the materials.
Download the full thesis here
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