Here at Rare Tempo, we admittedly have an affinity for glass.
It’s such a complex material! The way it refracts, transmits, and absorbs light; how it can be crystal clear, transparent, opaque, hollow, or solid, sometimes all in one piece; and how very robust and heavy, yet incredibly fragile all at the same time. How many other materials can you think of that do all of that? (Seriously- leave us a comment if you have one to share!)
And that’s just the final product. The process of manipulating glass is even more seductive, whether it be through glassblowing, torchworking, kiln casting, fusing, slumping, laminating… are you lost yet? Don’t fret- we’ll tackle all these processes in another post for all you curious souls. For now, we focus on glassblowing and carving as we introduce on of Rare Tempo’s finest sculptors, Adam Waimon.
As a glassblower, Adam plays with fire for a living! He begins his day in the hot shop, what glass artists call the studio equipped with a furnace full of molten glass, reheating chambers (colloquially called “glory holes”), annealers aka slow cooling ovens that cure the glass, kilns, torches, benches, blowpipes, and myriad other equipment that facilitates the process of manipulating hot glass. He begins by dipping the blowpipe, a hollow or solid steel rod, into the 2100 degree Fahrenheit furnace to gather a blob of molten glass. Over the course of a few hours, he continues to gather more glass, shape it into the form of his choice by reheating, cooling, reheating, cooling, reheating… you get the picture, until he is satisfied with the shape, keeping into account how thick the form’s walls are, which will prove crucial in later steps. He then puts it away in the annealer, where it can cool down slowly to avoid cracking that would occur if the 2000 degree form was left out at room temperature for too long (only a matter of minutes).
Take a peek at this process here:
Inspired by the natural world, Adam’s forms tend toward the abstract, but all mimic organic shapes reminiscent of forms found in nature. So, the process doesn’t end with beautiful, shiny forms! Once the form is cooled, he begins the labor-intensive procedure of carving. He uses diamond-embedded tools to carve intricate details and textures into the surface of the glass and sometimes sandblasts it entirely.
The final and most delicate step of the process requires that Adam reheats the carved form so that the surface achieves a unified sheen. As with all methods of hot glass manipulation, the potential for breakage and therefore, total loss, is prevalent throughout every step in the process, thereby making the completed sculptures truly precious!
My sculptural glass forms incorporate subtle monochromatic transparent color. This singular use of color allows the delicately engraved surface to refract and transmit light… utilize the glass to create strong elegant forms with a minimalist approach. Multiple forms are often placed together allowing for interaction and use of negative space.
Adam’s work is included in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States and abroad, and is available for purchase through Rare Tempo on Artsy!