In between thesis projects I've moved to a new town!
06 May 2014
a little intro
This is the first post in a series on Georges Despret, a Belgian-French industrial who developed the pâte de verre technique around 1900. He's the subject of my Master's thesis at UGent, and of the technical and practical research I'm doing at Sint Lucas (now Luca School of Arts) Gent. And I'm happy to share it with you!
reconstruction of a working processAt Luca I'm piecing together how Despret might have made one of his pâte de verre bowls, by making one from scratch. I've been working in the glass and ceramics studios, so this is a hands-on type of research, figuring out how each step of his work process might have looked like. It's partly based on historical sources and contemporary research into historical pâte de verre, and partly on the process of making itself.
|Georges Despret - bowl from 1906 - Design Museum Ghent|
So I've based my practical research on what remains: his glass objects kept in museums all over the world, his collaborators like sculptor Yvonne Serruys and ceramics specialist Géo Nicolet; a few archival documents, some contemporary press, and recent research. Next to that I've looked at the discoveries and techniques of other pâte de verre artists, like Henry Cros (the pioneer to whom Despret looked up), Decorchemont, Argy-Rousseau and Walter.
The little (and big) parts I couldn't find an answer to anyhow, I've tried to find through experimentation, So there's a degree of hypothesis in my research I'm well aware of, but that doesn't make this project any less worthwhile. I've received great help from my teachers at Luca, UGent, the city of Jeumont and the curators of the Design Museum Gent and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. And all the librarians... :-)
This research project will become a chapter in my Master's thesis (it's due in August, so I'm still working on it), but I also wanted to give a more personal account of it, showing you what I've been up to in the past 7 months. A bit like my studio and work in progress pictures. Thanks for reading!
a few links:Despret on Wikipedia (in French; I'll try to make an entry about him in English & Dutch)
Despret in the collections of the Corning Museum of Glass
Mémoire vivante de Jeumont with photos of Despret's castle in ruins after WW I, close to his manufactures
Cummings, Keith. Contemprary kiln-formed glass. Londen: A & C Black Publishers ltd, 2009. -with a chapter on Stewart's research on Amalric Walter.
Daum, Noël. La pâte de verre, Paris: Denoël, 1984 -extensive book on pdv, but needs critical reading.
Delaborde, Yves & Bloch-Dermant, Janine. Le verre: Art & Design XIX°-XXI° siècles. Courbevois: ACR Edition, 2011.
Hamaide, Frédéric (red.). De glace et de verre: Deux siècles de verre plat franco-belge (1820-2020), Fourmies: Ecomusée de l’Avesnois, 2007. -with a chapter on Despret's artistic glass by A.-L. Carré.
14 April 2014
|anonymous Moroccan woven headscarf|
|detail of the delicate work of Saskja Snauwaert|
|Karen Santen's ceramics against a Moroccan carpet|
|woven carpet by anonymous Moroccan women|
|installation; forgot to note this artist's name|
|Sanne Dewolf & Christine Clinckx|
|Tamara van San|
Enjoyed this wonderful exhibition at the Ververij in Ronse by women artists who weave their life into their artistic medium, whether it was weaving scarves or carpets, lace, ceramics or performance. Each medium has its own expression. The exhibition almost felt like an orchestra, with each piece adding to the sound of the whole.