2001 Glass Mutation IV

Nylon (black), 3D print
(Selective Laser Sintering SLS),
glass (blown), 49 x 35 x 33 cm

Glass Mutations is based on the concept of the primordial in cell mitosis. The process of mitosis occurs when cells split and build more complex organisms. The work extends this idea – the beginning of all complex life – and applies the residence theme of Taxonomy to an argument centered around the notions of evolution and mutation.

When adding a third volume in the glass blowing process, the linear development from single-cell mitosis collapsed on multiple levels. In biological terms, mitosis would not be able to occur with three cells involved on a regular basis. Similar to cancer, where certain cells are able to split into more than two daughter cells, the work started to enter the territory of mutation rather than that of evolution based on repetition. In terms of craftsmanship, the added third volume destabilized the overall form and making process. The object was not a rotational form anymore and was therefore off-centered.

The Glass Mutation series consists of a series of evolving, simple, glass-blown volumes that gradually increase in geometric, interconnected, and material complexity. The formation processes of a glass object using blowing techniques are very short in comparison to casting. Molten glass is taken out of the furnace on a blowpipe. Immediately, the material is
cooling down and changes viscosity from a liquid to a rigid state. The molten material is centered on the blowpipe using continuous rotation. The glass craftsman blows air into the blowpipe to inflate the glass. More glass can be added and various rotational shapes can be made. The final object is finished through multiple re-heating of the glass material in a stationary oven, reapplying more molten material from the furnace, shaping it with scissors, shears, or other tools.

Glass mutation is not a work centered around the geometric complexity of glass and the imitation of the formal impossibilities of 3D printing. Glass Mutations is an amalgamate of glass volumes held in a larger organism-like construct through 3D printed substrates. The resulting objects are not static and conclusive in themselves but rather suspended in an arrangement that can only exist in a 3D scanned, state of sublimation.

This work consists of the physical separation of the cellular glass volumes from one another and the 3D printed form interacting with these single objects to form an ecosystem between the glass volumes. The elements are held together by digitally modeled, tendril-like structures, analogous to the biological cell growth when forming multi-cellular higher-order organisms. When observed as a series, Mutations constitute a Biotope of craft, material, and forms.