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Precision air entrapment through applied digital and kiln technologies : a new technique in glass art

The motivation for the research was to expand on the creative possibilities of air bubbles in glass, through the application of digital and kiln technologies to formulate and control complex air entrapment, for new configurations in glass art. In comparison to glassblowing, air entrapment in kiln forming glass practice is under-developed and undocumented. This investigation has devised new, replicable techniques to position and manipulate air in kiln-formed glass, termed collectively as Kiln-controlled Precision Air Entrapment. As a result of the inquiry, complex assemblages of text and figurative imagery have been produced that allow the articulation of expressive ideas using air voids, which were not previously possible. The research establishes several new innovations for air-entrapment in glass, as well as forming a technical hypotheses and a practice-based methodology. The research focuses primarily on float glass and the application of CNC abrasive waterjet cutting technology; incorporating computer aided design and fabrication alongside more conventional glass-forming methods. The 3-axis CNC abrasive waterjet cutting process offers accuracy of cut and complexity of form and scale, across a flat plane of sheet glass. The new method of cleanly fusing layered, waterjet-cut float glass permits the fabrication of artwork containing air entrapment as multilayered, intricate groupings and composite three-dimensional void forms. Kiln-controlled air entrapment presents a number of significant advantages over conventional glassblowing techniques of air entrapment which are based around the decorative vessel or solid spheroid shaped on the blowing iron. The integration of digital and traditional technologies and the resulting technical glassmaking discoveries in this research advance potential new contexts for air entrapment, in sculptural and architectural glass applications. Contexts include solid sculptures which explore the internal space of glass, to flat-plane panels and hot glass roll-up processes which take air entrapment beyond the limitations of its previous incarnations. The creative potential of Kiln-controlled Precision Air Entrapment for glass art is demonstrated through the development of a body of artworks and their dissemination in the field of practice. Documentation of the findings in the thesis has resulted in a 3 significant body of knowledge which opens up new avenues of understanding for academics, creative practitioners and professionals working with glass.
Date January 2015
CreatorsMitchell, Joanne
PublisherUniversity of Sunderland
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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