Long before we blew glass, beat metal, formed clay, or carved wood, we had to find our vessels in nature. What a rare occasion that must have been. It is that feeling that informs these Urzeitlich Vessels. Urzeitlich is a German word meaning primeval. When I asked my German buddy (Wolfgang…what else would his name be?) what it meant (after he deciphered my mangled pronunciation) he said “caveman”. “Perfect,” I thought. Well-used, strongly loved, held close, parted dearly.
To create this look, I apply both copper and highly reductive glass colors to the surface of the vessels, while they are hot. By choking back the oxygen in the flames, I bring out the pure metals in the colored glass, which then coat the surface with a brilliant, iridescent sheen.
The copper is another story altogether. When the vase has cooled down, the copper is completely oxidized, becoming cupric oxide and appearing completely black. It looks like charcoal. As I slowly grind the cupric oxide on the surface of the glass, I decide how much copper to take away, leaving it black, exposing the cuprous oxide (which is the earthy red of an old copper pipe), or shiny copper on the very surface of the glass. Or I can grind all the way through the copper to the colored glass hidden underneath, giving it a fascinating texture.