Glass is liquid sand. Rocks break down into pebbles through changes in temperature and pressure; pebbles decompose into sand and sand can be transformed into glass through the reverse process. Sand melts into liquid form at 1,575 °C. Sand is the raw material and the glass itself.

“Sand to Glass” is a material and process research project demonstrated in two collections. The material and process results indifferent visual and textural qualities. Sand also serves as a gripping function, as well as a way of reconnecting subjects with nature through touch. The first collection is a set of three vases and a bowl as craft objects in advanced glass techniques. The second collection is a bowl, a carafe, a tall and a short cup, which serve as products utilizing the gripping feature of sand.

As a designer, I am fascinated with the movement, visual and textural qualities of glass, and enjoy experimenting with it. I also find the process very meditative. This practice demands high concentration therefore gaffer only needs to focus on glassmaking. Sands from various geographies carry surprising qualities resulting from climates and formation processes. These origin locations are also where people go to spend peaceful moments – where the rhythm of life slows down, enabling people to become present in that moment.

DESIGN PROCESS

I collaborated with a team of experienced glassblowers to find different ways of combining glass with natural sands during the experimenting and making phase. Sands from different geographies result in diverse textural and visual patterns when combined with blown glass. My involvement was to design the forms, carry out numerous experiments with sands, models and colour and decide which sand would be used for which form. I guided the glassblowers by explaining which sand pattern expands more, creates air bubbles or does not stick to glass. To control the patterns during the making, I was present in person with glass artisans to dictate the specific glassmaking techniques suitable for sand during hot glass and cold-working. The artisans’ feedback for this project was that they have never combined glass with sand in hot glass and that this project inspired a new approach in making.

For further information about the design process, a research book is available upon request.