In my BA thesis Possibilities of the use of recycled glass in the hand manufacturing of lamps I explored the field of glass recycling, which in my opinion is a very important topic in the present day, oversaturated with things and waste. This way, we can make a big contribution to maintaining a clean environment, reducing greenhouse gases, reducing the need to make new things …
Even from an early age, I have always tried to “extend the expiration date” of different object when I tried to refurbish and transform them into something new, whether they were worn out trousers, a backpack or a tattered piece of furniture. I was inspired by the sea of processing possibilities, where the only obstacle is our own creativity.
Glass is a material that offers endless possibilities for processing and re-use, without significant change in its quality and purity. Many companies (also in Slovenia) already work by this mentality and use recycled glass in their production.
I researched the possibilities and ways of using recycled glass in both artistic and useful products, paying particular attention to the interweaving of glass and metal, which is the main source of inspiration for my artistic creation. I was wondering how I can most subtly interweave these two materials together, without losing the useful function of the product.
For a better understanding of my work process I also described the main glass processing techniques, which I have used.
I also researched the areas of ambient lightning and evaporators, where I focused on products that use a candle as an energy source. Light produced this way works more naturally because the flame is constantly moving, giving life to the lamp. I put more emphasis on the hanging lamps, because lamps presented this way gets some mystical aspect as well as the role of the bearer of light is highlighted.
First I researched the development of these products in different periodes in history. Next I was interested in what is on the market today. I also added a few examples made from recycled glass. I was interested in the shape, texture of the surface and the shadows produced by candles, ways of hanging, use and interweaving of different materials, ways of handling with the product and the placement of the candle. In the end I presented a few examples that have inspired me throughout the process. Some by shape, others by the way materials are intertwined.
In the practical part I combined the research of the mentioned fields with the knowledge of glass processing, which I gained during my studies. I put more emphasis on the manufacturing process itself and the possibilities of the use of recycled glass.
I used both cold and warm glass processing.
I tried to adjust the manufacturing process to minimize the energy required to produce the product, so I would not cause additional burden on the environment. Thus, I limited myself to one kiln-casting. In the manufacturing of molds I tried to adjust the shape so that its production would require as little material as possible. I tried to utilize and recycle excess and waste in the most optimal way too.
In my work I focused on the recycling of bottles which belong to soda lime glass. This type of glass also represents the largest proportion of glass produced in the world (90%) and is one of the hardest to process because it is very stiff and highly viscous.