When glass artist Jess Panza introduced herself to me, she expressed how moved she was by Ashes & Milk. -And when I saw her glimmering Pate De Verre Glass Bowls I was in turn lit up by their gemlike brillance.
Above are a pair of Lime Feuille Glass Bowls by Jess Panza.
By molding tiny glass rocks together, a French technique called Pate De Verre, Jess is able to enhance the texture and crystalline quality of the material.
I love how Jess finds “glass beautiful, in all forms (whether) broken glass on the street, a glass fronted cabinet, spectacles, cloudy old glass at a flea market, bits of sparkling rocks found on a hike.”
Above Jess uses a heavy metal “crusher” to break down the raw glass into smaller pieces. She then composes the glass onto flat molds to create discs, shown below.
Above are stacks of glass discs that are waiting to be molded into bowls for a second time in the hot kiln.
Nikko Can you tell me how you discovered this process of glass forming?
Jess I’ve been working with glass for about 15 years and it is as familiar to me as kneading pie dough or cracking an eggshell.
My forming process is a lot like making crepes, or anything that needs to be formed while hot. Due to the nature of forming glass with high heat, it can be very difficult to create the closeness that a tactile bond can foster since you can’t touch it with your fingers. I get as close as I can by creating my own ways and tools for forming the glass.
Above is Jess hand forming and tweaking the shape of the glass bowls while in the kiln.
Jess What I hope to show is the influence of my hand in the final product. Although the bisque forms and high heat does most of the work, I do a lot of cutting and pasting while the glass is sticky to build the actual form.
I do everything you aren’t supposed to do when working with glass. I interrupt the kiln’s heating and cooling cycles at my discretion if I am not getting my desired results. I reach my hand deep into bags of raw glass to throw in cold glass next to heat soaked glass.
Above the finished glass bowls are cooling outside of the kiln.
Jess The glass has got to follow my lead but only with regard to cooking time and overall form. -The rest is up to the glass. ‘Just be yourself,’ I try to impart onto it.
[ You can see the rest of Jess Panza's Pate De Verre Glass Bowls at Ashes & Milk. ]