Gilded Pate de Verre Vessels - An online course with Alison Lowry and Warm Glass

Pâte de Verre literally translates as ‘glass paste’ (but doesn’t sound nearly as glamorous). Finely crushed glass is packed in to a mould before being fired in a kiln where it fuses together. 

Our first session involved making the mould - this was something completely new to me and I had a few problems to start with…

The mould needs to be a consistent thickness so that when the glass is fusing the whole vessel is subjected to the same temperatures. It took me a few attempts, but I managed 2 moulds based on a couple of bowls I had around the house.

 

 

During that week I also made some colour samples - mixing different colour combinations and firing them in small quantities to see how they might look. At the time we were in full lockdown (End of March 2020) and Warm Glass were waiting for supplies of clear fine frit to come in from the States. As I needed fine frit for the course, I bought some transparent neo violet instead of the clear and that actually ended up making one of my favourite colour combinations.

 

 

Once the moulds have set, the glass paste is packed in around the shape in thin layers. Firing is a long, slow process - even longer than my usual programmes, and the whole mould takes much longer to get back to room temperature before you can remove the plaster from inside and out. 

The final pieces are a few millimetres thick. Delicate but surprisingly strong. 

 

 

I would recommend this course in a flash! Alison Lowry is such an enthusiastic teacher and it would’ve been lovely to do this in person. Having said that I enjoyed the slower pace of one session a week for 3 weeks with time in-between to have a go at the different techniques.

Will I make any more? Never say never, but the thing about pâte de verre is it usually results in more opaque vessels and I’d like to explore the transparency of glass at the moment. I do have a few ideas though and I think it would be useful to have another go at making the plaster moulds.

 

Information : :

Courses are available via Warm Glass >>

Alison Lowry's website >>