A COLLECTION WITH 3 THRUSTS
ART, HISTORY AND TECHNIQUE
The techniques of coloration, shaping and decoration combine in complex associations which engender the visual and tactile miracle…
Powders with gloomy, dull hues…
These are the colouring oxides, ready for their baptism of fire. The role of glass is to make them sing: the yellows from sulphur, uranium and silver…, greens from iron and chrome…, reds from gold, copper and selenium…, blues from cobalt and copper…, violet colours from nickel and manganese, etc.
Most of them have been known since the most ancient times.
Is it being useful that makes a thing beautiful, or is it being beautiful that makes it useful?
Over its long life, glass has managed to combine the two aspects without conflict, imbuing everyday accessories with beauty and grace.
‘Oignons de Jemeppe’ bulbous vases
Moulded blown glass. One of a slightly bluish white opal, with blue enamel powders scattered on the base and blue threads rising on the high neck, tooled while hot, neck opened while hot. The other is moulded blown blue opal with decorations applied using blue and burgundy enamel powders, tooled while hot. Blue threads rising towards the neck, opened while hot.
Blue stencilled enamel mark to the bases, ‘VSL’.
Cristalleries du Val Saint-Lambert, Division de Jemeppe.
Jemeppe-sur-Meuse, Belgium, circa 1920.
Photo: Paul Louis
‘Louis-Ida’ wedding glass (Metternich service water glass)
Semi-crystal glass or blown moulded clear lined old gold glass, etched and wheel-engraved: ‘Louis-Ida 1859’ in a cartouche, bubble inclusion in the stem, hexagonal foot.
Cristalleries du Val Saint-Lambert
Seraing, Belgium, 1859.
Photo: Paul Louis
Is light not glass’s best friend?
A solid material which becomes extraordinarily malleable when heated, and with a molecular structure reminiscent of liquids…
A magical material in amulets and crystal balls, and yet one which is so ordinary and taken for granted in our everyday lives…
A diabolical material which the mediaeval Church prohibited from tombs while at the same time exalting it in stained-glass windows to the greater glory of God…
A material which bends to our every whim, making vases, windows, mosaics, threads, lenses and sculptures, but which nevertheless shatters if you mistreat it…
Some people believe that nothing befits glass better than transparency, especially when relief comes into play…
Perhaps a cold material… but one which is shot through with intense life!