I often get asked how I create the sculptures in the Wind & Water series. It is a very lengthy and time-consuming process which utilizes many aspects of glassworking starting from the raw creation of the individual glass pieces in the hotshop to the “warm” process of slumping the glass in the kiln, followed by the assembly of the final sculpture.
Each sculpture in the Wind & Water series begins with the act of generating cane. A technique originally used by the Venetians, cane is created by layering colorants in between gathers of clear glass and stretching the molten glass into long rods until a diameter of between 3 & 20 mm is achieved. Cane pulling is often compared generating taffy candy.
Most of the cane I create consists of using a transparent colorant over an opaque colorant for greater depth and saturation. Each cane pull yields approximately 40 feet of glass, of which 30 feet is neither too thick nor too thin. Each sculpture requires between 8 (6” x 6”) and 200 (30” x 30”) cane pulls.
After a supply of colored cane is generated, the warm-working process begins. To create the wavy patterns in the glass, the cane needs to be curvy, instead of straight (which the process yields). The rods of cane are placed in the kiln, over metal molds, and brought up to temperatures around 1200 degrees until they assume the form of the mold itself.
The cane is then cut into tens of thousands of individual pieces which are sorted according to shape and length. One-by-one the cane is hand placed into a frame to evoke movement. The process is conducive to only working 4-9 square inches at a time, from one corner, to the others. It takes approximately 45 minutes to complete 9 square inches of the three-dimensional canvas.