Pate de Verre

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.

I use glass for its seemingly conflicting qualities:

  • Transparency/opacity
  • Strength/fragility
  • Solidity/fluidity

These for me symbolize the universal state of being.