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Experimenting with light through photo printing on glass and reflections through glass

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Articles

Publication date

16/02/2022

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Photo printing on glass

In August 2019, I followed a workshop with artist Silvia Levenson on the various ways of printing an image or text on glass. Amongst the various techniques we explored, one stood out for me and made my heart beat faster: I call it light-sensitive printing on glass.

Silvia herself learned the technique from a couple of artists from Argentina :Paulina Rocco and Sol Carta who named it ‘fotovidrio’. The technique is derived from the photographic process invented by Mungo Ponton in 1839 when he discovered the light sensitizing effect of potassium dichromate (no longer in use because dangerous to aquatic life and it is a hazardous air pollutant).

The process is very much empirical and the final result will depend on many variable factors all along the way: the type of glass used, the light sensitizing mix, the amount  you put on the glass; the amount of light used, the timing, the final firing in the kiln ….  

It is that uncontrolled part of the process that fascinates me deeply but also the final result of the picture which has esthetic qualities to me that serigraphy or decal do not have.

Although the process is quiet old , it hasn’t been much used by contemporary glass artists and there’s still a lot to explore.

Next to glass, photography itself has been an important part of my Life for over 20 years. I have never pushed it far enough to feel  I could exhibit it. I used it more as a therapeutic tool in search for the beauty that hides in details. Discovering this process where I’m able to print my pictures myself on glass suddenly made it clear and evident that this was the way for me to combine both mediums of expression that I love: glass and photography

Since the spring of 2021, the glass museum of Charleroi, BE offered me to come and work on a regular basis in their workshop as an artist in residency providing me with the perfect opportunity to explore this technique

Glass which transmits light, deforms it, filters it … Photo Graphy which means writing with light… the combination is opening a whole new world of narrative possibilities …

Currently on view in the exhibition Focus d’artistes:  ‘AnuschB, Mes racines dans le ciel’ – until 6 March 2022 at the Glass museum of Charleroi, BE (site du Bois du Cazier)

Anuschka b mural installation

In 2016, thanks to the SofinaBoël  fund for education and talent (Fondation Roi Baudouin) I was able to make significant progress in glassblowing thanks to an intensive workshop with Yann Oulevay in Switzerland. As I started learning to blow, I wanted very quickly to combine it with my first love affair with glass: bead making on the torch.

This innovative way of combining 2 different hot glass techniques led me to explore further how light would create a double reflection in the glass: once inside the thick wall of the blown glass pebble and once on the surface it rests on.

In  2018, I made the installation ‘We are made of more water than blood’ for Muze’umL, the museum of light,in Roeselaere, BE.

On situ, in the museum, the installation measured approximately 9m long by 3m wide. It is made out of over 220 blown glass pebbles and an estimated 900 to 1200 glass beads, made one by one on the torch.  Alongside the installation, I presented a selection of the photographs I take of the reflections of my pieces. The light, the shadows and colors my pieces project have slowly taken as much value as the pieces themselves and are becoming a major component and companion of my work.

In 2019, I took the next step by making smaller mural installations made to measure for my customers, around the same concept of light, reflections and color.

I am currently looking for collaborating with interior designers and architects to push this concept even further.

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