Every year in the glass industry we are seeing new techniques being created, new artists coming onto the scene with new designs, and tons of new trends popping up bringing people in search of the “must haves” from the year. Well, 2015 is here and even though it is still young, we are already seeing a bunch of cool stuff coming to light this year and bringing a lot of attention with it. In particular we typically see some new colors of glass and some new glass making techniques and glass designs come along each year, which is really exciting to see, especially when these colors are unbelievably amazing and the designs bring functionality to another level. This year we have seen a rise in the amount of limited edition/ collaborations among artists, two very popular colors of glass have been released, and a couple of really cool trends in design have hit hard. We have also seen artists blending colors and making some pretty amazing colors flow together really nicely, in particular is Snic Barnes “technicolor” work. 2015 has been nothing less than impressive and I know there is more to come!
Electroforming has been around for quite a while, and it has been used in glass making for a very long time, but the use of it for water pipe making and pipe making in general is a fairly new concept that has gained a lot of popularity. Today we are seeing a rise in artists pushing the envelope exploring what all can be done with this art form. Traditionally we saw partial covering and plating of the piece itself, whereas today we are seeing whole objects being attached, like action figures and precious gems. We are seeing more and more collectors searching for unique electroform work, especially considering we are seeing so many cool new items being used in the process. Masking and really deep etchings, almost to the point of carving, have become very popular as well. We are seeing a ton of artists doing some really intricate designs on the outsides of pieces through these techniques. You will see an array of designs from circuitry boards, sacred geometry, and cool floral and scroll patterns. Carving is sure to be a cool technique that will stay around and bring some highly unique pieces to our world!
In art when two artists get together and collaborate together something unique always seems to come of this. Well, in the glass industry there has been a wave of collaborations among a bunch of different artists that have created a pretty big uproar in the community. We are seeing one artist implement his stellar functional work into another artist's heady work to make pieces that are simply astonishing in aesthetics and will be sure to please functionally. We have also seen artists working with others to implement accents and blend their two unique aesthetic styles together to make a really gnarly piece where both artists styles are clearly expressed on one piece.
This year three new colors have hit the scene pretty hard and there have also been one other color making technique to gain a ton of popularity of the past year. The three colors that have been getting a lot of attention are Serum, Illuminati, and Blue Dreamingo glass. These colors are simply amazing and the most appealing factor of them all is that depending on the light that is hitting them they can change colors drastically. Serum colored glass with be green in natural light and when it is exposed to CFL’s it changes to pink and Blue Dreamingo is blue in natural light and UV blacklight turns it hot pink. My personal favorite is the Illuminati glass, it contains Uranium so it is fluorescent under UV light. This type of glass reacts best to short wavelength UV light in the 365 nm - 405 nm range, the color of Illuminati glass is an amazing transparent neon green. The sparkle technique that has been gaining popularity is the sparkle technology used by Glass Alchemy, this glass is really cool and what artists are able to do with it is really cool. The glass maker blows sparkles into the glass rods as they make this glass and then when these rods are used in glass making the sparkles can be manipulated to appear stacked, stretched and all kinds of cool stuff. You can check out a bunch of the cool sparkle technology colors at Glass Alchemy’s website, it will definitely blow your mind.
One of the bigger innovators in the scene is Snic Barnes, and most of us recognize his name and have at least seen a few of his pieces online or in person. Well Snic continues to bring innovative ideas and designs to the table on a regular basis and his new technicolor work is nothing less than amazing. Snic has managed to seamlessly blend multiple colors on one palate without missing a beat. You will see greens flow effortlessly into purples and reds, this integration of multiple colors on one piece is sure to blow your mind. The way his manages to fade colors in and out of pieces is pretty sweet, and needless to say if you haven’t seen any of his electroformed pieces you should check that work for sure, as well as this incredible technicolor work!
Odds are there will be some more trends to pop up before the year is over and I am sure they will be just as impressive as the cool stuff we have seen thus far. My advice is to get out there and track down some of these hot new items and get them in your collection because before you know they will harder and harder to find. Seriously though, if you haven’t check this out, go check out this stuff out and you will be pleasantly surprised. Not only will you find this stuff really impressive you will unearth a lot of cool stuff you may not have known was out there!