Failure, Recalibration & Iteration: Karin Plante

This week, I’ve worked through several iterations in my project proposal; At our last meeting, I was intending on creating a sort of “stained glass” mosaic out of dichroic glass with the intent of showcasing the qualities of the dichro (mainly the discrepancy between the color of reflected and transmitted light). My main concern at the end of last class was if I would be able to cut glass in controlled curves, or if I would simply have to settle with straight geometric shapes. This issue was solved, however, as the glass studio I frequent had special hand-held glass cutting pencils that worked relatively well. This information allowed me to move on to designing my piece. I was using several ambiguous images as inspiration and I decided I wanted to create an image that when viewed from the side of a strong light source (ex. the outside of a window with the sun acting as the light) a given image could be seen that would be less noticeable and/or invisible when viewed from the other side (transmitted light). I organized all of the scrap dichroic glass I had and determined that this would be possible, because I had some dichroic glass that reflected clear like a mirror, but transmitted a deep blue. As a result, I came up with the design below (tiger in a tree). You would be able to see the tiger on the side with the light source, as it would be a clear region in a sea of color (negative space). On the otherside, however, the tiger would be blueish/purple, and so would the rest of the tree (as the tree would be made of a “reflect: green; transmit: blue/purple glass”.

This is where the failure, recalibration and iteration come in to play, however. I was very happy with this idea, however I didn’t really consider how difficult this would actually be: in order for stained glass to work, each boundary where two different pieces of glass met must be very complementary. With the detail my guide had, this would be nearly impossible (I instantly gained a lot of appreciation for stained glass artists right about at this point). Unfortunately, I decided to scrap this idea considering the time constraints I have with the end of the term approaching quickly (this is something I’d like to do but don’t foresee having the time to do so until I’ve retired!), as even simpler stained glass panels require a high level of precision that the hand tool I had would not provide.

Therefore, for iteration, I’ve decided to revisit my idea from earlier in the term: a dichroic infinity mirror. I will be cutting the dichroic glass tomorrow on a diamond saw at the glass studio and soldering the pieces together to make concentric geometric shapes. With lighting and a mirror from below, an infinity mirror effect should occur, but with the added factor of the dichroic light effects. These pyramids will fully display the brilliance of dichroic glass, as their colors will change based on the viewer’s angle, as well as the alignment of the geometric shapes in relation to each other. I am happy with this plan and have decided this is what I am moving forward with.

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