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“Adjacent” Studio Process: Step 4

Casting the Glass

This work is about the tension between the solid, volumetric forms of the catboat ‘columns’ and the lucid, patterns glass facade. The challenge was how to integrate one with the other visually and then translate that into physical glass objects that could actually be affixed to the concrete facades.

I decided early on I wanted to borrow from the patterns that have interested me in my other, more intimate glass sculptures. Although many patterns make their way into my work, I’ve always wanted to make a large expanse of glass ‘water’. Also, by one of those happy coincidences, the  pattern also referenced the sponsor for this project, the Water Authority – Cayman.

After consultation with a colleague—Steven Durow, who specializes in hot-glass casting—we decided to try press moulding the glass to achieve the surface pattern. After some experimentation and fine tuning, we settled on simple plaster press moulds, each hand-made and coated with colloidal graphite to help resist the heat.

Below are images of the process: pouring the molten glass into a simple metal mould, pressing the glass with a wooden press mould (which worked great but deteriorated much too quickly to be of practical use in making 40+ castings) and the remains of used plaster press moulds after repeated contact with 2000°F glass. After two weeks of solid work and a series of small struggles, I got to inspect the first good set of glass castings [color redacted].

Steven Durow ladling molten glass for 'Adjacent' Davin Ebanks works out the kinks with a press mould on molten glass... everything's ok. Davin with a press mould on molten glass... everything's not fine. Davin removes a press mould from molten glass... everything's going to be ok. Derelict glass press moulds: dead from the heat. The artist inspects the press-moulded glass panels—the work of a couple weeks hard labour by Steven Durow's casting team. [color redacted]