James Carcass

jamess_carcass-1-274x412“Indeed, you need serious physical stamina first. Later you will learn how to feel the hot, molten glass shaking on the end of the pipe. You concentrate strongly; focusing to the movements only, turn the pipe slowly, then quickly. No sudden moves, being flustered can be dangerous. I can say that you get a ZEN state: only you, the glass, your imagination, the joint moves… this is the right balance. This is the way you will be able to do anything.


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Why the crafts are so popular and of high quality in Britain? “Because there was a man: John Ruskin, who (a more than hundred years ago) launched a movement to counteract the industrial revolution. The ‘Arts and Crafts’ brought back the mediaeval craft techniques, while seeking to establish a modern style.” This needed a receptive public, of course, who recognized the importance of the initiative. To preserve the tradition, schools, universities, and workshops were formed.

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The trend of the ‘studio glass’ started in the US in the sixties. In the small glasshouses, being established one after the other, unique objects were produced by no-industrial methods. This trend spread to England as well.

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“ I graduated at the Sunderland College of Glass and Ceramics. A number of similar institutions operate in England. Typically, from my thirty classmates only two or three remained at glass. Today about fifty glasshouses is working in Great Britain. At the studio glass movement, a part of the ceramic artists skifted to the glassworks. It is interesting that two-thirds are women.”

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For nearly twenty years he tested many techniques, mostly in London, as one of the leading artist of the L. A. Studio Glass Design, expert in producing large asymmetric objects, and metal patina technique. Orders were abundant.

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It was very different engaging in glass pane. Maybe there is only four companies of the world similar in size to the Fusion Glass Design Ltd. They produce decorative glass for buildings. Glass panes are produced for construction with fusing. To produce a glass pane of ten cm thick, even in size of 2×3 meter, the molten glass is spreading then cooling down in 16 huge furnaces. “Can you imagine what feels like to enter an office building with 600 large decorative panel, manufactured by your participation as well?”

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“The hot glass is falling outward from three meters height, when opening the bottom of the furnace. I never suffered physical damage. To reach a safe and tension-free status, the glass must be cooled down for days. Then the disc-form cast glass was processed in cold state, decorating with various elements, later softening again in molds, finally we cooled down it again. We were able to produce anything in any size, because we knew what to do. It was in the workshop of Danny Lane.”

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“A friend of me invited me to go to Tokod, Hungary, to participate in an international glass conference. There I met Betti.” For the sake of his later wife, Bernadette Hegyvári, a glass artist as well, he moved to Hungary in 2008.

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The British studios maintain to order his door keys, decorated with bubbles of baking soda, the glass chalices ornamented with exciting motifs, and the vases. Just now he makes 200 ‘cloudlets’ to decorate a London children’s hospital, and lampshades, decorated with silver foils for a Hungarian interior designer.

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He teaches the craft together with his friend, Gergő Pattantyús (see the other report in this website).

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The hot parison is formed with scrap paper in his palm. “ The wet paper is appropriate for this work, for due to the resulting vapour the glass can slide on it. The interior of the wooden mold is the best when carbonized a little. We would like to organize a lot of courses, because this industry is beautiful. “

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“Come here in summer, you can blow a glass for yourself!”

23/3/2011 Tápiószecső


Read more: www.jamescarcass.com


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