PhotonArt vol.1

How about combining glass art, archeology and photonics in one project? I have been starting on a multidisciplinary PhotonArt project that does exactly that!

The unique glass colour samples, made for my artistic work by Tampere University Photonics laboratory. Some of these are inspired by ancient Chinese glazes.

In this project glazes from ancient Chinese ceramics are being analyzed to both understand their composition and to design new glass materials and colours. Tampere University has received ceramic shards dating from Song Dynasty (960-1279AD) from the collections of ASET Stiftung. Song Dynasty ceramics are known for their elegant design and variety of different glazes. Glazing means a thin layer of glass both decorating and protecting the surface of the pottery.

Raw early stage sketches showing variety of shapes seen in Song Dynasty ceramics.

Specific glazes were chosen for this project based on their color and texture which are due to the presence of crystals and metallic particles. In the first phase of the research the composition of glazes was analyzed using different scanning methods such as electron microscope and X-ray fluorescence.

The ancient Chinese glazes serve as an inspiration for development of new glass materials for both art and science. The aim is to create similar colours and metallic crystals in different glass compositions. The focus for photonics is in optical glass and enhancing and altering its properties, whereas glass artist is more interested in colour hues and artistic expression.

Example of the glazed ceramics analyzed in this project. Photo : ASET Stiftung

I consider it a great priviledge to be the artist in this project and get tailored colours to work with. Melting the glasses, blowing and sculpting them, grinding and engraving will reveal how the colours suit for small studio use.

Close up of hot glass on a blowing pipe

Furthermore I will look for inspiration from the past, especially Song Dynasty ceramics – whether it be classical shapes, certain colours or motifs from tomb statues. At the end of next year I will be having an exhibition at Galleria Himmelblau, Tampere – there I will show the outcomes of this project!

More early stage sketches : inspiration from the ancient Chinese ceramic horse sculptures found in tombs. They were supposed to be your ride in the afterlife…

The project is supported by Finnish Cultural Trust’s Pirkanmaa Regional Funds. Earlier this year they released an article on PhotonArt, you can check it on the link below :

https://skr.fi/en/whats-new/when-archaeology-meets-contemporary-glass-art-and-advanced-photonics

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