Pate de verre – or “paste of glass” – is a technique that uses glass frit and powder formed by hand, placed in a mold, then fired in a kiln.
Glass artist Susan Longini creates one-of-a-kind wall quilts, sculpture installations and vases using this technique – her mastery of color is impressive.
Four Seasons Quilt, 39″ x 39″ x 2″, pate de verre
Fall, detail from Four Seasons Quilt
Crosshatch Amphora Grande Pair: Green/Cobalt
34 x 19″ x 8″ each, pate de verre, cast base
I read somewhere that Longini has said she is “afraid of shiny” and this process allows her to keep the surface completely matte. The end result is reminiscent of sugar, maybe even marzipan. However you choose to describe her work, I’m betting that the word delicious comes up.
I use glass for its seemingly conflicting qualities: Transparency/opacity; Strength/fragility; Solidity/fluidity. These for me symbolize the universal state of being. Susan Longini
Falling Leaves: Green, 65″ x 65″ x 4″, pate de verre
Falling Leaves: Green, detail
From Susan Longini’s Website:
Pate de verre, literally “paste of glass”, is an ancient glass-forming technique, first documented in artifacts from Phoenicia and Egypt around 1500 B.C.E. Small glass granules, or frits, and powders are mixed with binders such as gum arabic, pressed into the desired shape, and fired in a kiln to fuse the granules together. Using the properties of glass as a liquid, the pate de verre is heated anywhere from 1270° F to 1600°F. The lower temperature retains the granular qualities, while the higher temperature gives a smooth, “glassy” appearance.