Blends Historical Tradition and New Age Craftsmanship Santa Barbara Art Glass by Saul Alcaraz
Blowing and Fusing Glass 600 years ago ... Santa Barbara Art Glass by Saul Alcaraz
the Egyptians and Persians mastered the an of blowing and fusing glass. The knowledge gained over the years, while working with this produced in unpredictable material, continues to inspire Saul Alcaraz's work to this day.
The earliest man-made glass originates more than 2,000 years before the Roman Empire. Craftsmen in Mesopotamia and Egypt were making little vessels from brightly colored glass as early as 1,500 B.C. Stained glass in England was mentioned in the 1600s. In the eighth century, an alchemist named Jabir ibn Hayyan wrote a treatise on colored glass. By the 12th century, hand-blown stained glass was a sophisticated form of art.
The age old technique of kiln-forming glass has always fascinated people due to the magical transformation of glass when combined with heat. Today Saul's kilns turn glass into unique, fiery images of magnificently glorious art. The result of his eighteen hour heating and cooling cycle insures the creation of strong and durable objects of art.
Santa Barbara Art Glass by Saul Alcaraz
Saul Alcaraz's fine art glass has been featured in galleries and museums throughout the world. His visionary designs have literally pushed the art of glassmaking to the edge of creative expression. His passion for his work is inspired by the amazing works of Lois Comfort Tiffany, Steuben and Duran.
Saul's symbiotic relationship with fire has been a tenuous partnership over the years. With the quest for a translucent form of perfection, Saul feels he has captured the power of the sun and he brings this to tangible objects of pure light and beauty. His style is reminiscent of the art nouveau glass being produced in France by Galle and in Ausrria by Loetz. Saul has had but one ideal - to make the finest glass the world has ever known, with strict adherence to distinctive design.
The transformation of raw materials into glass takes place around 2400 °F; the glass emits enough heat to appear almost white hot. The glass is then left to "fine out" and then the working temperature is reduced in the furnace to around 2000 °F. At this stage, the glass appears to be a bright orange color.
Glassblowing involves three furnaces. The first, which contains a crucible of molten glass. The second is used to reheat a piece in between steps of working with it. The final furnace is used to slowly cool the glass, over a period of a few hours to a few days, depending on the size of the piece. This keeps the glass from cracking due to thermal stress. The molten glass is 'gathered' on to the blowpipe in much the same way that honey is picked up on a dipper.