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  • Gold, glass and the image

Federer, Frances, 2010, Thesis, Gold, glass and the image MPhil thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

A background of drawing and long experience of gilding on a variety of surfaces led to a growing interest in, and passion for, decorated glass. Of particular interest was a technique known as Zwischengoldglas. Known since ancient times, this glass is characterized by the use of unfired (cold) gilding, a practice with which I had long been familiar. The need to protect the delicate gold leaf, intrinsic to the design of ceremonial drinking vessels from the seventeenth century, led to the evolution of complex objects. Engraved gold or silver leaf is incorporated between two glasses that fit precisely together and are sealed at the lip. I was interested in how might an understanding of these vessels might inform a body of work made today. The aim of my research was to explore aspects of Zwischengoldglas. It set out to examine the problems raised by the need to protect cold gilding on glass, and the marriage of blown glass and gilded decoration on a variety of forms. A literature search on glass history, drawing and decoration applied to three-dimensional form, was intended to inform and support studio work. The outcomes of the investigation resulted in the early discovery that even a simple version of double glass, within the parameters of this investigation, would be too demanding of time and resources. An exploration of wider interpretations of double gold glass was carried out. New work was produced as a response to the problems raised by the need to protect cold gilding on glass. The principal areas investigated were: the relationship of the form and texture of glass to decoration; the reflective properties of precious leaf applied to glass and of the glass surface; the use of hot and cold decoration on one object; the layering of glass carrying gilded imagery and the passage of light through those layers. The relationship between drawing on paper and on glass was evaluated in the studio and in the written thesis. Study of the history and analysis of the Grotesque and the Surreal clarified the parallels between the glass forms I made and the nature of the imagery I chose to use. An evaluation of the work produced looked at the methodology, assessed to what extent the research has achieved its aim and evaluated its position in the wider field.

Qualification Name: MPhil
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W770 Glass Crafts > W771 Glassblowing
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2012 12:20
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2012 12:21
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/956

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