RIT students Dan Ipp and Tom Zogas, winners of this years Metaproject, had the opportunity to prototype their designs at the CMOG’s GlassLab earlier this month. Their designs focused on redefining the kick of a glass vessel. The process was captured by CMOG and can be viewed on their website.
Dan and Tom discuss their process in additional detail:
“The start of our design process for GlassLab was a late night in the studio. We found tiny cardboard tubes, which are meant to be put on the end of the jack tool, and clustered them into a bundle. This is a form that we were both attracted to and have worked with before. We varied the heights of each tube in the bundle to create a more dynamic form and then placed the bundle in a bucket of sand to hold it in place. After forming a blown vessel, we dropped the hot form directly on top of the cardboard cluster. The result of the experiment was a uniquely organic indent in the bottom of the vessel. The cardboard also burned slightly which added a dimension that we were not exactly attracted to. So for our GlassLab design, we decided to make the positive form out of graphite, instead of cardboard. We predicted that the graphite would penetrate the hot glass in a cleaner and sharper way. From this first experiment, we also decided to propose the theme of “kicks” in different vessels. Our GlassLab theme was born from here. The kick is the indent on the bottom of a cup or bottle. It is typically added to a vessel for structural purposes and additionally to make the bottom of the vessel more stable when set down. We decided to push the “kick” idea to an extreme and make it a focus of our designs.”
“We arrived on our first morning, excited to get started with our session. The session started off with making a simple tumbler that we would press into our graphite form. The first one did not turn out as clean as we expected, so the gaffers went at it again. This time they tried blowing air into the vessel to create more definition from the graphite. It looked excellent, but our graphite form got stuck in the glass, due to the lack of draft. At this point, we decided to move onto the simple kicks in vessels. This is where we had the most success. Some excellent pieces were created; most notably a big bulbous bottle, where the kick went up into the neck of the bottle. Another interesting piece was a small cup where the kick goes up and then back out the bottom. This makes the cup unusable and very impractical. At the end of our second session, we were pleased with what had turned up. We went into the GlassLab sessions with certain expectations, but the outcome was different than we had expected. It was a great experience to have expert gaffers execute our designs. It’s truly a unique experience to see the object being made in-front of your eyes and being able to change the design as it is made. Glass is an excellent material for prototyping and its rapid production process shows that. The natural properties of glass make it such a great material to be used for everyday objects. Glass is a material of the past, but more importantly, a material for the future.”