The development of glass is way too big to discuss in all but the briefest of contexts in an essay of this length, but it is important to recognise its value in early history, and the changing role of the glassmaker in society.
This essay looks at just one small area of glass art. It aims to identify why some artists have gone beyond "studio glass" in their work, using the material in site-specific and public art, and answer how they have got to this point. It asks:
How and/or why are Contemporary Artists using Architectural Glass in their designs?
Architectural glass is just one area, and a huge subject in its own right.
Le Corbusier had said that the architectural struggle to admit daylight was the history of the window With this in mind, the first chapter will concentrate on the history of glass manufacture, the development of the window, and will explain some important methods.
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It will then move on to the Modernist movement and the effect this had on the use of glass in architecture; the technical developments and innovations that either enabled the movement to fulfil its ideals, or that were a result of its demands and requirements.
There will then be a survey of key artists/designers who currently work in architectural glass, looking the difference between their styles.
The majority of information for this essay has come from architectural books, craft-based and glass journals, and the internet. Colleges have been contacted, and there are articles in journals or books about the artists/designers that are discussed later.
Colleges that offered glass courses have been surveyed NOT ANSWERED YET as to their opinions on the subject area.
There is a wealth of books dedicated to the subject of architectural glass, as well as whole sections within other volumes on the wider subject of architecture alone. They have been useful in charting the history and development of areas of glass, but many of them are from a purely architectural perspective; either the historical, cultural and social aspects, or the technical.
Hirsham Elkadi's book, the Cultures of Glass Architecture has been extremely useful. It is quite small compared to many of the huge volumes on the subject, and therefore very concise. However it still charts the history of the development of glass in architecture albeit looking mainly at the cultural aspects.
Raymond McGrath's huge volume, Glass in Architecture and Decoration has also proved invaluable, having detailed technical descriptions of processes, explanations of nature and properties, etc - a very useful reference source and an 'easy' book to use as it has notes in the margin as to content of paragraphs, enabling quick searching for relevant information. It is noted that McGrath was referenced in several other books not necessarily used in the end.
Leland Roth's Understanding Architecture, It's elements, history and meaning, is a detailed survey of the general subject of (not specifically glass in) architecture, considered by many reviews (on Amazon for example) to be one of the best reference books on the matter. Very useful for in-depth explanations of subject areas visited such as the Gothic era, but perhaps too details at times. Still a useful reference that would be revisited many times.
JOSIE, I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS TOO DETAILED COMMENTS FOR BOOKS?
There are huge areas of glass development that have to be largely ignored within the confines of this essay; there is much more to the development of architectural glass than can be discussed here. There is only room to explain major milestones of the window, to briefly consider the industrial revolution, religious changes, the changing structure of society. There have been regional variations throughout the world in how glass has developed. The essay concentrates mainly on Britain and Europe.
There appears to be very little recent critical writing as to why artists (architects?) are using glass in their designs. Most of the more up to date books found were either surveys of work, or technical descriptions of what and how work can be created.
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This makes it difficult to answer the original question, as to why, with certainty. The essay can only try and draw a conclusion, but there may be no evidence to support this. Perhaps this is a reflection of just how recently this change in styles of glasswork by artists has come about, something which is revisited in the conclusion. (Josie, I intend to comment in the conclusion about the Jerwood prize, and also looking at other glass awards/competitions and the changes in artist styles, I can explain this).
NOTE THAT THIS BIT STILL NEEDS TO BE RE-WRITTEN INTO THIRD PERSON, EDITED, ETC, THIS IS JUST SO CAN SEE THE FORMAT OF THE INTRODUCTION
A VERY BRIEF HISTORY OF GLASS - IT'S EARLIEST KNOWN USE- and its importance in early history as a precious commodity.
Egyptian "STONE THAT FLOWS"
I do not intend to go into too much detail of products, but I feel it is important to show the value of glass, and the importance of the glassmaker in society, and how that role may have changed - WAS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRAFT GLASS MAKERS, WINDOW MAKERS, ETC.
LOOK HERE AT KEITH CUMMINGS HISTORY OF KILN FORMED GLASS
At this point, I will briefly discuss the studio glass movement, and the resurgence in art glass (as I believe this is relevant to the popularity of glass today) - and its influence on the way that glass making is taught, through changes in education rather than apprenticeship.
FOR DAWN'S REFERENCE ALSO TO CONSIDER:
In McGrath, he makes he comment in the preface to the second edition how much has changed in 20 years since first edition. Refers to collaboration in architecture - effects of abstract art beneficial to architecture. Revival of stained glass. Not sure if this is important? There is also a comment about this revival in Andrew Moor's book.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WINDOW
The Oxford dictionary defines a façade as "face of a building". According to Elkadi, it "both obscures and protects a building's core. Openings and windows give a façade its distinctiveness."
The window preceded Glass by several centuries; an early example of a none-glazed window, an opening, can be seen on the pyramids at Dahshur dating back as far as the 2723 BC. (Others, not quite so old from 1198 BC, can be found in the temple of Ramses II at Medinet Habu, and the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak). They were used for lighting and ventilation.
JOSIE, I NEED TO CLARIFY REFERENCING A REFERENCE! AND ALSO FOOTNOTES CORRECT REFERENCING, THE SHEET CONFUSED ME -
The precise history of glass is unknown, many sources quote different dates, although mainly agree that Syria was the centre of the industry. Relics of glass of Egyptian origin, dating back to around 2000 BC were found at Abu Ghalib in 1937.
Glassblowing was first discovered in the first century BC, which would revolutionise the glass industry and enable the growth of glass production. Referring to Wigginton, Elkadi considers that this discovery was the first important step in using glass in architecture.
After the discovery of clear glass by introducing Manganese dioxide, the Romans were the first to use glass for architectural purposes, in the first century AD, in important buildings in Rome, and luxurious villas in Herculaneum and Pompeii. During the Augustan age, the sacred building of the six Vestal Virgins had windowpanes and screens that were mounted in wooden or metal frames.
Despite Wigginton's belief of the importance of blowing to the architectural use of glass, earliest examples of window glass, from the first few centuries AD, appear to be cast, the largest known (around 100cm x 70 cm) being a pane from public baths in Pompeii.
As well as their developments, the Romans, in civilising Western Europe, distributed the craft, and the demand for both use and manufacture of glass (for all kinds of use). Until this period, the mild Mediterranean climate meant that glass in windows was not necessary to protect interiors. However, with this spread of civilisation, the introduction of window glass would have been hastened with the need to protect against a harsher climate.
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The difficulties faced by the Romans, 3rd century AD positively affected the use of glass in architecture. Christianity was accepted as a religion, leading to social change. Glass for daily use was simplified, but religious buildings were focussed on, and the fall of the Empire lead to styles varying by region.
Mediaeval Art & Architecture - Art and religion were intertwined. Art was used to symbolise God. Pope Gregory the Great said, "painting can do for the illiterate, what writing does for those who read". It was used to teach. Similarly, the sculptor's role was to educate as well as decorate.
The Romanesque Period - Following the Norman invasion of England in 1066, through to late 12th century, a new style of building was introduced which is known as Romanesque (the proportions and patterns of the Roman Empire were used). It is also known as Norman. It was a very solid, bulky style, its main features were barrel vaults, and round arches and windows were typically small - partly defensive purposes, partly as this would make the walls less strong, so structurally not capable. Much sculpture, and carving. Romanesque churches were solemn and gloomy. In these churches, the decoration would have been mainly frescoes and mosaics
"Romanesque architecture could not open up to the light, not even with innovations employed at Durham. In the new phase into which mediaeval architecture now passed, the presence of light, the symbol of God's divine Grace became the pre-eminent symbol; the church had become transparent" (no longer Romanesque, became gothic) PARAPHRASE?
The Gothic Style - originally began in 12th century France, and was, up until the Renaissance, called "French Style". Later critics derisedly called it "Gothic" as an insult; they thought it was vulgar.
The architecture was light, graceful, spacious, with high ceilings using innovations learned from the Arab world during the Crusades, such as pointed arch, ribbed vault and buttress. The height of the vaults grew, as did the sizes of the windows, which were filled with rich coloured glass, there being less wall space to now use to tell the stories.
(Do you think a glossary will be necessary?)
"The gothic style of architecture of the thirteenth century liberated walls from merely supporting the weight of the structure; instead they could be pieced to provide light to the formerly deep dark interiors. The walls of churches and cathedrals became narrators of biblical and local cultures. The development of stained-glass techniques has added another cultural dimension to the architecture of this period...this technique led to a widespread use of leaded windows demonstrate biblical and local stories...the architecture of cathedrals and churches reflected the cultural identities of local communities: their walls not only provided informative displays but also demonstrated local values as well as religious ones"
RICKMAN DIVIDED GOTHIC INTO FOUR PERIODS, NORMAN GOTHIC (ROMANESQUE), EARLY ENGLISH 1200-1275, DECORATED GOTHIC 1275-1375, PERPENDICULAR GOTHIC 1375-1530+
Relevance of this, might not include?
Check out the dissolution of the monasteries, the relevant dates and how this fits in with the time lines
THE IMPORTANCE OF BOTANIC GARDENS
Elkadi says 17thC sees extensive use of glass in Europe. Political and philosophical environment led to abandonment of stained glass and more use of clear glass. AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT rationalism favoured clarity and quantity of light in architecture rather that aura of mysticism introduced by stained glass. Democratisation of glass in 17th century, with its use reaching different classes of society. Relationship between culture and environment also affected the details of making of the window in Europe... increasing appetite for light... was restricted by need to open windows (ventilation)... building of orangeries flourished...end of 17th century... large improvement in glass industry facilitate shift.... Glasshouses were cultural spaces as well as for nurturing plants...
FRUTHER DEVELOPMENT OF CYLINDER METHOD MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO PRODUCE LARGE UNINTERRUPTED SHEETS OF GLASS. In Britain, Lucas Chance started sheet glass in 1830, advised by French glass expert, George Bontemps. (TRANSALTED THEOPHILUS WORK), new production coincided with increased interest in glass buildings. ... Combination of interest in science, fascination with exotic plants and beginnings of world travel meant individuals and institution was collecting animal insects and plants from hotter and more humid environments... led to enormous expansion of greenhouses in Europe. New fashion brought together people from different classes....
Rise in interest in greenhouses was in parallel with development in iron industry in late 19th C.
ERA OF ENLIGHTENMENT, 17TH CENTURY, LIBERATED ARTS... CLEAR GLASS REPLACED STAINED COLOURED GLASS, MORE NEED TO DAYLIGHTENING TON ENHANCE ELABORATE INTERIORS. CLEAR GLASS USED TO "ENHANCE THE BEAUTY OF OTHER ELEMENTS RATHER THAN A BEAUTIFUL MATERIAL ISELF
Crown glass process, where a large amount of molten glass is held on the end of a rod, which is spun until it flattens out into a disk, was used up the mid 1800s.
BROAD SHEET or Cylinder glass processes - 11th century - Germany?
Industrial Revolution Chance - cylinder glass development
Larger single panes for Joseph Paxton to allow him to build Chatsworth conservatory. What happened to the Chatsworth Conservatory?
McGRATH HAS A SECTION ON THIS
Mention Crystal Palace, Joseph Paxton Great Exhibition (year window tax abolished).
"Gothic Architecture exposed stained glass to the masses. Liberalisation and democratisation of glass was therefore inevitable.... culminating in the great European Exhibitions (of the nineteenth century) ... the search for a new liberal Europe after WW1 led to the adoption of glass for using daylight to illuminate the insides of buildings. Clarity and transparency were the new adopted values"