article posted 07 Jan 2016
Choi Keeryong completed his practice-led PhD research in
Dec 2015 at the University of Edinburgh. He received his first degree in fine art from
Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea in 2003. He moved to the UK and enrolled on an
MA programme in glass and architectural glass at the University of Edinburgh, UK in 2006.
Before he returned to the university to conduct his PhD research, he worked for the school
of design, the University of Edinburgh as an artist in residency and a visiting lecturer from
2008 to 2010. He received the Scottish Overseas Research Student Awards Scheme
(SORSAS) grant and the Edinburgh College of Art international student scholarship
for his PhD research.
His research interest lies in the notion of invented cultural authenticity,
historical and symbolic meanings constructed around craft materials, and how they are
appreciated and provoke an aesthetical emotion.
The development of inlaid colouring technique
for hot-glass making process
31/10 Milton Street, Edinburgh EH8 8HB
The possibility of developing an inlaid colour decorative technique for glassblowing
initially arose in response to Dr. Ray Flavell's research on the encapsulation of voids
within the body of glass artefacts. His innovative achievement, in terms of the technical
contribution he has made to the field of glassblowing, makes it possible for controlled
drawings to be transferred directly onto a parison (a blown glass bubble) by applying
stencil cutting and sandblasting. (cf. Fig. 1)
In the course of an in-depth study into Flavell's development of his techniques, I
recognised the potential to apply the Sanggam1
decorative technique onto glass artefacts,
as the incised motifs create a void which could be filled with coloured powder glass,
therefore, a delicate line-drawing style design can be achieved with dynamic colour
The inlaid colouring technique might also share some similarities, in terms of the idea
of achieving controlled colour decoration on blown glass artefacts, with the
as Frederick Carder (1863-1963), the English-born American glass artist, called it)
and the Mykene
technique. (cf. Figs. 2 and 3)
glass technique was developed in 1936 by Vicke Lindstrand (1904-83), a
Swedish glass designer, during his time in the Orrefors Glasbruk, Sweden.
It suggests that an earlier attempt had been made to achieve better controlled drawings with
a layer of glass. (cf. Fig. 3)
Powdered carborundum mixed with epoxy resin, as Flavell speculates, was applied
directly onto the drawing on the surface of the glass body, and then another layer of a
glass wall encapsulates the drawing (Flavell, 2011, p.33). However, as the clear spots,
which the transparent glass body revealed through the irregular bubbles, and the fine
definition of the drawing suggests, a thin layer of powdered carborundum was possibly
applied onto the shallow etched void on the parison. Therefore, in spite of the chemical
reaction of the bonding agent, the epoxy resin, as the irregular bubbles prove, the outline
of the drawing remains intact.
Having undertaken an in-depth study of Flavell's research into the development of the
encapsulation of voids, as well as examining the Graal and Mykene glass technique,
and Sanggam ceramic technique, my key aim then was to develop an innovative colour
decorative technique for glassblowing by combining these well-established,
Developing this particular technique allowed me to
explore the state of ambiguity a viewer experiences when they look at my work.
I do this by delineating geometric patterns and counterfeit letters onto my glass artworks
and encapsulating them in between the layers of transparent glass. (cf. Fig.4)
By that I mean, my artwork does not easily fit into either Korean or British visual culture,
as I create, deliberately, a pseudo Korean-British or British-Korean image that is viewed
as a Western or Eastern image or a mix of both cultures. The cultural ambiguity inherent
in my artwork challenges viewers, sometimes and creates uneasy feelings in them when
they look at it. As an artist, I want to use glass and porcelain as an artistic medium to find
ways to provoke a feeling of anxiety in the viewer when they look at, and think about,
1 The Sanggam
technique is regarded as highly important to Korean cultural heritage, and the highest achievement of the technique is appreciated by art collectors and connoisseurs. During the Goryeo dynasty (935-1392), Goryeo potters first used Sanggam decoration, which is unique to the ceramic decorative techniques of the Song dynasty (960-1279) China period, during the second half of the 12th century. Sanggam decorative designs included natural motifs such as cranes, flowers and grapevines, which were firstly incised into the leather-hard (or semi-dried) body of the bowls, vessels, cups and bottles. Secondly, the incised design was filled with white or red slip (clay mixed with water), and the excess was wiped off before the application of clear glaze and firing.
2 The Graal
glass technique was developed by the designer Simon Gate, in collaboration with a team that included Gustaf Abels (engraver) and Knut Bergqvist at Orrefors Glasbruk (also known as Orrefors glasshouse), Sweden, in 1916 (Flavell, 2011, p.24). Clear glass is cased by a layer of coloured glass then decorative design is applied to the surface. The design section is protected from the hydrofluoric acid, which etches away the rest of the section of coloured glass.
3 Carder developed the technique with the help of Johnny Jenson, a Swedish glass blower, at the Corning Glassworks in 1916. The Intarsia
glass was produced until 1923 (Flavell, 2011, p.25).