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and Custom Framing

David New-Small

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Marine Reliquary
Marine Reliquary
Hand-blown vase
10 1/2" tall
$2,900


Marine Reliquary
Marine Reliquary
Hand-blown vase
8" tall
Sorry, sold for $1,050

The Marine Reliquary series has developed since David New-Small's first scuba diving lesson in 1989.

Each vessel is blown by David with the help of two to four assistants.  Preparation (making starfish, barnacles and anemones by pulling cane; cutting the fish and seaweed out of dichroic glass and painting them; and finally cutting fish, starfish, sea cucumbers and crustaceans out of thin copper sheet) can take three to five hours, the blowing can take up to three hours and the cold work (grinding) a further hour.  A total of up to 20 person hours can go into the creation of one of the extraordinary glass vessels.

The vessel is built up in layers, starting with clear and colored glass on the end of a hollow pipe called the blowpipe.  The glass is shaped and a bubble blown in the center.  At this stage, the piece is rolled through powdered colored glass and a trail (a ribbon of hot colored glass brought to David by an assistant and positioned and maneuvered around the piece) is added.

Decoration is also added in the form of frit (colored glass chips), copper sea creatures and millefiori cane.  Shaping and reheating occurs concurrently.  More clear glass is added, then the dichroic seaweed, another layer of clear glass, the dichroic fish, and a final layer of clear glass.  Using gravity, heat and air the piece takes shape.

A second pipe, the pontil, is attached to the base and the blowpipe is cracked off.  Now the final form takes shape and the opening is enlarged.  By this stage two hours have passed, the piece is very heavy and three people are extremely hot and tired.  Concentration must not be lost, however!

Finally the vessel is gently taken off the punty (pontil) and placed into the annealer where the computer controlled temperature drops gradually preventing cracking due to stress within the glass.  The next day the piece is examined, the base ground and signed, and then catalogued and photographed.

From the artist: "For me the 'creation; of a new piece is the culmination of the solutions to a series of interrelated technical and aesthetic problems initiated by my desire to express and idea or experience.  The first 'Marine Reliquary' appeared after about 18 months of trying to say something about water. The series continues to evolve."

Marine Reliquary
Marine Reliquary
Hand-blown vase
5 5/8" tall
Sorry, sold $350


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