Multi-dimensional line-drawing with glass through a development of lampworking .
Tani, Ayako (2015) Multi-dimensional line-drawing with glass through a development of lampworking. PhD thesis, University of Sunderland.
This is practice-based research about glass art, undertaken by an artist specialising in the lampworking technique. Over many centuries, it has been widely used for scientific, industrial and craft purposes. In the early 1990s, there was a notable shift of traditional lampworking merging with contemporary glass art, but there is still room for further development. The research focus is line-making through lampworking. Building upon Hoyt (1989), which determined the fundamental procedures in lampworking, this research identified five operations relating to line-making: ‘bending’, ‘stretching’, ‘thickening’, ‘adding’ and ‘tooling’. Before this research, these techniques were well practised in traditional lampwork training. However, they were recognised as only basics to construct some greater pieces, and line-making itself did not gain real attention. Neither has the theoretical concept of making lines in glass been discussed enough. This research re-examined each of these operations and searched for dormant possibilities to exploit for artistic expression. The significance of glass lines was discussed in comparison to other line-making techniques and mediums in visual art. The taxonomy of lines advocated by Ingold (2007) was referred to as a guide for deeper exploration in this field. The investigation highlighted the unique material feature of glass and added the idea of ’spatial traces’ and ‘projected lines’ to the discussion. A series of artworks was subsequently made to demonstrate and evaluate the research outcomes.
The innovation generated by this research is the development of ‘calligraphic lampworking’, which is technically an extension of the ‘stretching’ operation. The act of stretching molten glass is observed to be comparable to ink calligraphy, in that they both leave a trace of movement. The distinctive difference is that the strokes of calligraphic lampworking are spatially liberated, whereas those of ink calligraphy are confined to the plane of two-dimensional surface. Meanwhile, the dimensionality of glass lines is theoretically explored. The state of ‘multi-dimensions’ of glass line is discussed in terms of the glass’s clarity, reflections and shadows.
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