In the newest Bullseye Kiln-Glass Education Online video lesson, we showed you a fun and easy project that uses the pâte de verre method. Day of the Dead Skulls is a great way to learn the basic principles of the method, and have a finished product to show for it. Now let’s take a look at some more advanced applications of pâte de verre.
One of my favorite examples is the Punto in Aria series by Denise Pepper, in which her pâte de verre imitates a traditional style of needle lace. Typically, we think of both glass and lace as being delicate materials with which to work, but actually, when placed in experienced hands, both are stronger and more flexible than many realize.
Steven Ramsey uses pâte de verre to create imagery rather than form, as seen in his piece Foundling, part of his series Through a Dark Wood. The mood of the imagery is disquieting, ominous. When placed inside one of his enameled glass frames, the piece also gains a feeling of claustrophobia.
Let’s explore contrast between two pâte de verre pieces featured in Emerge 2014.
Linda Ethier’s intricate Maple Nest has two main elements: the top portion and the bottom portion, both of which are comprised of pâte de verre leaves. The top portion is like the bottom half of a shattered globe. In both portions, we can make out details such as the outlines and veins of the individual leaves.
Opie Hileman’s Connect 1 is an example of pâte de verre creating a contrary impression. These objects are not thin-walled. They’re actually rather thick, and the texture looks like concrete. The triangular shape also contributes to this industrial, unbreakable feeling.
Finally, we cannot discuss contemporary pâte de verre artists without mentioning Alicia Lomne. Lomne is one of the foremost pâte de verre artists in the world and has taught in glass schools and workshops all over, including at Bullseye. Her work is often stunning, and it’s worth it to anyone interested in further exploring pâte de verre to peruse the gallery on her website.