Glassworks by Sylvain Willenz
by Harry / September 6, 2012

Sylvain Willenz is showing three series of glass works, the product of a three year residency at The International Glass and Visual Arts Research Centre, at the Victor Hunt gallery in Brussels. Above, Spot lights.

(Click the images below for full sized images)


Liquorice Spot light, with coloured glass shards

The show, titled Sylvain Willenz + CIRVA, Glassworks opened yesterday (until October 6, 2012) and features; Spot, a light in four flavors, Shift, a blown glass side-table, and Block, a series of cast containers.


Says Willenz, the "lights evolved from the idea of reinterpreting the classic white glass globe into a playful, colourful and graphic new suspension light. During the glassblowing process, transparent and white spheres are rolled onto thin and small glass filaments of various colour tones, which stick to the sphere."


Cupcake Spot light

"The glass is then blown into a conventional wooden mould and the filaments stretch, creating random graphic patterns as well as optical and lighting effects. SPOT lights come in four different finishes."


Block containers

Willenz' geometric Block containers have a surface texture that replicates the styrofoam boxes that were used as the original moulds for the molten glass.


"The items that compose the Block series are been made using a glass casting method inspired by the well-known lost-wax technique. Instead of using wax (cast from a mould, itself cast off a master piece), each piece is made and assembled by hand using Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) board as base material."


"Plaster moulds are made from these EPS forms, and then burnt. Hot glass is then transferred into these moulds. Subsequently, each piece resulting from this process is unique."


Shift tables

As for Shift, it's a series of glass side tables made with a unique and unprecedented glass manufacturing technique. "Its complex asymmetrical volume is blown solely from one piece and in one operation."


"Shift's shape was inspired by formal elements and details usually found in industrially-produced blown plastic products. SHIFT's complexity not only lies in the way it is made, but mainly in its shapes, which are unnatural and unusual for glassblowing; the base is oblong and the top is racket-shaped."


In addition to the gallery show, a book documenting Sylvain Willenz's research carried out during his residency from 2009 to 2012 at CIRVA was also launched yesterday. Called Glassworks, it comprises specifically written texts, photography by Sylvain Willenz, documenting research, experiments, technical drawings and development sketches as well as an exclusive photo shoot of the final pieces.


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