Glass art is an art discipline with glass as the carrier. Glass material can be used for artistic creation by means of cutting, grinding, polishing, kiln casting, firing and other machine processing and etching. The translucency of glass is its artistic charm that distinguishes it from other materials. Due to the characteristics of glass material, in the creation of glass art, the artist has to consider the external form of glass, but also take into account the internal form. Because of this, the surface treatment of glass is particularly important. The surface of glass is either rough or soft or shiny, and the various texture patterns on the surface of glass affect the transparency and light transmission of the entire glass work, thus affecting its artistic expression as a work of art. The surface treatment of glass is an essential part of glass art creation and an important expression of the artist’s theme and emotion. This article focuses on the techniques of glass surface treatment and the influence of the texture of the glass surface on the creation of glass.
I. The concept of glass surface treatment
As a carrier of artwork, glass has different characteristics from other materials, visually giving the illusion of vision and a sense of chaos between transparency and opacity. In a scientific sense, people call this unique and fascinating state the fourth form – the glass state. It is because of the characteristics of glass, glass art works often pursue the harmony of internal and external effects. Glass artists are equally persistent in the treatment and pursuit of internal and external effects, with the expression of internal effects relying on external shapes and brightness to be reflected, and the expression of external effects needing to be complemented and enriched by internal effects. It can be seen that the surface treatment of glass is crucial to any piece of glass art. For example, in Figure 1, Steven Weinberg’s “Boat at Citron Shoal,” the work is polished on the surface so that the bubbles in the space inside the glass are fully displayed. The surface treatment of glass is a processing method that uses one or more processing methods to change the surface composition or state of glass to give it certain special properties. Glass art creation commonly used in the glass surface treatment are abrasive surface treatment, cold processing and hot polishing and other processing processes, processing plays a vital role in the presentation of glass art works.
The way of glass surface treatment in the creation of glass art
The surface treatment of glass refers to changing the surface state of glass to form a smooth or diffused surface. In the production process of glass works, from the early clay mold to the middle of the high temperature mold and fusion casting to the later cold processing, the effect of glass surface treatment needs to be considered. Different processing methods and processing environments will result in different surface effects and texture states. From the process of glass art creation, the processing can be divided into pre-processing and post-processing.
Pre-processing has two common ways: one is the surface treatment of the mold, and the other is the glass sand casting.
The surface treatment of the mold refers to the use of tools on the soon to be completed mold processing again to change the surface texture of the mold, so as to produce a different surface effect when the glass is fired or blown. The surface treatment of the mold is the most plastic, and because the mold itself is very plastic, the surface of the mold can be processed again in a variety of patterns and ways. The texture pattern processed on the mold will show the opposite pattern on the glass, showing a different artistic effect.
Glass sand casting is different from other casting methods in the process of turning, making molds with sand, and then casting the glass melt to anneal. However, sand casting has disadvantages in modeling, with a large mold opening and relatively simple modeling. Because of its unique effect, there are many artists who pursue the artistic effect of glass sand casting texture.
Glass art creation in the post-surface treatment is the most common means of glass surface treatment, refers to the firing has been completed or flat glass through mechanical, chemical reagents and other artificial means to change the transparency of the glass surface, modeling, texture, color, etc., to achieve the desired artistic effect. Surface treatment is roughly divided into sandblasting, carving, grinding, polishing, etching, pickling, etc., and glass artists often use several different processing methods at the same time to achieve their desired artistic effect.
The impact of glass art surface treatment on the creation of glass art
No matter what kind of glass works are created, the surface treatment of glass is an essential and important part. Glass surface treatment has an important impact on the expression of the artist’s theme and emotion in the creation of glass art. Therefore, how to express the excellent surface treatment effect in the process of glass art creation has become a topic of concern for contemporary glass artists. In the author’s opinion, the surface treatment of glass has three relatively direct effects on the creation of glass.
In glass creation, due to the unique light transmission of glass materials, the smooth or rough surface of glass has the most direct impact on light and thus on glass works. The glass studio movement of the mid-20th century had a slogan: “Glass is a four-dimensional space”, which clearly illustrates the translucency of glass. For example, the Czech glass art, often in the world of glass art stage to “team image” to establish its unique position, the style of modern glass art shows “orderly consistency”, influencing the 1950s glass The style of modern glass art showed an “orderly consistency” that influenced the style of glass art of the 1950s. This “Czechized” style was due in large part to the unique approach to glass surface treatment (i.e., the post-cold working of cast glass surfaces) under the Czech glass studio movement. In the case of the work of Stanislav Lipinski, an important representative of this period, the light, shadow, and space that can be seen everywhere in his works rely closely on the surface treatment techniques of glass. Through polishing, polishing and acid-washing techniques, the light and dark color changes of glass materials enhanced by light transmission and refraction are expressed, resulting in new visual lines, with the external solid lines echoing the internal dashed lines, showing the three-dimensional simplicity without losing the interesting connotation of the theme. The works of this period emphasize the different contrasts in the surface texture of glass materials, which is also one of the most important features of Lipinsky’s creative system. In the works of this period, the surface texture of the clay sculpture, the surface texture of the mold, and the surface texture of the cold processing form a strong contrast, which constitutes the most direct sensory experience of the works.
Glass surface treatment is not only an essential part of glass art creation, but it can directly become a personal symbol of the artist’s art creation. Peter Bramos’ works are famous for his glass kiln casting technique. Inspired by his travels, he gives back the inspiration he draws from nature in the form of his works, and creates a sense of composition and layered texture in his glass creation by sanding with a grinding machine, which becomes his personal artistic symbol. CD10-48 Rabbit Ears (Canyons & Deserts; 48, Rabbit Ears) is Peter Bremose’s representative work, in which he uses different cutting and grinding angles to show the visual effect of different texture levels and light, similar to the use of “chap” in Chinese landscape painting, rendering a The aesthetic pleasure of dense, tranquil nature is the result of such surface treatment. Alex Gabriel’s work also explores the surface treatment of glass to develop a unique personal artistic language. His works often cut, polished, oxidized, and etched the surface of cast minimalist-shaped glass sculptures, and the surface would appear many natural crystalline, sharp jagged shapes resembling mountains and canyons, thus expressing his thoughts on society and time.
With the development of glass art, artists continued to explore the surface treatment of glass to seek novel artistic effects, thus promoting the development of glass art. Such exploration even influenced the artistic style of a group of artists. Czech classical glass master Vaclav Ziegler in the glass cold processing and optical glass cutting show with cross-era achievements, he let the glass cutting evolve into a pure, rationalized scientific behavior, the laws of glass optics and structural science standards become an era of reference; Sweden’s contemporary famous glass artist Berthai Valleian is a good sand casting of glass artists, he constantly improve His personal sand casting creation method has influenced the creation of contemporary glass art in Sweden, setting an example of romanticized artistic style characteristics and creative innovation of Swedish glass. This shows the promotion and influence of glass artists in the exploration of glass surface treatment on the style of glass art. Advances in glass surface treatment have also led to improvements in some glass products, such as crystal singing bowls, which have become more beautiful, practical and diverse. Looking forward to more beautiful things as the process progresses.