Evelyn Gottschall Baker - USA
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
12.5 x 5.5 x 7.5 Medium: Patè de Verre and Steel;
Inspiration: While teaching in Glasgow, Scotland, one of the students gave me a skull of a Red Deer. I had recently experimented with creating bones using my Patè de Verre process and was intrigued with the idea of making a complete, complex skull using this method.
Process: The artistry of pâte de verre fascinated me for years, but I was put off by the complex mold process. Instead, I began experimenting extensively with glass powders and various binders, developing a method of sculpting glass paste into dimensional, free-form shapes. My previous experience as a test engineer proved invaluable in shaping the discipline necessary for the methodical, detailed testing required to create the complex firing schedules for this method, which must account for shrinkage, varying thicknesses, and the way heat affects individual components that make up a finished piece.
The primary difference between my approach and traditional pâte de verre is that I don’t use any type of investment mold process. Instead, I make a simple silicone mold of an object or form, which I fill with glass paste. I freeze the paste-filled mold to allow the frozen-solid form to be removed and dried. This creates a “glass leather” shape that I am able to carve and modify to add more detail. After completing the modifications, I fire the object without any supporting investment mold, although I do use materials such as fiber paper, aluminum oxide, and kiln furniture to support the object, as needed, during the firing process.