GASnews Winter 2023

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NEW COE 96 Colors + 96 Casting Cullet + 96 Easy Melt


Letters from the Editor and Executive Director


Why Artists Should Pay Attention to What

Scientific Glassblowers Do

10 The Existence of Glass 13 Trinitite, the Glass That the Bomb Made 16 A Method to Create Graphite Molds from Computer


19 Exploring the Intersection of Science, Art, and Glass: A

Available at your favorite distributor


Conversation with Pablo La Padula

24 Explorando la Intersección de Ciencia, Arte, y Vidrio: Una

Conversación con Pablo La Padula

28 GAS Opportunities



Cover: Sally Prasch - “Blown Away.” Photo courtesy of Sally Prasch

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Contributing Writers: Sally Prasch and Beth Hylen, Dr. Mark Naylor, Robin Babb, Fumio Adachi, and Maria E Diaz de Vivar Editor: Robin Babb Graphic Design: Marja Huhta Staff Brandi P. Clark, Executive Director Amanda Crans, Communications Manager Jennifer Hand, Conference + Events Manager Marja Huhta, Digital + Design Assistant Julie Thompson, Development Manager KCJ Szwedzinski, Operations Assistant Robin Babb, GASnews Editor Cathy Noble-Jackson, Part-time Bookkeeper

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Glass Art Society Board of Directors 2023-2024 President: Michael Saroka Vice President: Nadania Idriss Treasurer: John Moran Secretary: Lisa Zerkowitz IDEA Chair: Kim Thomas Conference Chair: Eric Goldschmidt Annie Cattrell Ben Cobb Mika Drozdowska Percy Echols II Frederik Rombach Debra Ruzinsky Sunny Wang Martha Zackin Leia Guo (North American Student Representative) Jocelyn Chan (International Student Representative) 1-304-337-2253 Paden City, WV @wissmach_glass @wissmachglass


700 NW 42nd Street #101, Seattle, WA 98107 USA Phone: 206.382.1305 E-mail: Web: ©2023 The Glass Art Society, a non-profit organization. All rights reserved. Publication of articles in this newsletter prohibited without permission from the Glass Art Society Inc. The Glass Art Society reserves the right to deny applications for Tech Display, advertising participation, GAS membership or conference participation to anyone for any reason.






Dear GASnews readers,

Dear GASnews readers,

For this Winter issue of GASnews we chose the theme of “Glass Science,” and I’m happy to say we got some incredible contributions. From artists who incorporate scientific imagery or techniques into their work to scholars investigating the deepest molecular mysteries of glass, this issue shows the deep connection that already exists between glass art and glass science—and how much each of us could learn from paying attention to that connection. From Sally Prasch and Beth Hylen, an article about the many scientific glassblowing techniques that glass artists use—or could use, if they took note—in their work. Sally and Beth interviewed many, many artists for this piece, and we’re grateful to showcase all their astonishing artwork. From Dr. Mark Naylor, a deep dive into how glass is made, on the molecular level— with some of his own artwork used as illustration. From Fumio Adachi, a step-by-step guide on designing graphite molds in 3D CAD—a wildly useful tutorial from somebody who’s perfected it. And, from Maria E. Diaz de Vivar, an interview with the inspiring Argentine glass artist Pablo La Padula, whose unique artwork draws heavily from his background working in laboratories. As for myself—I ventured to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to visit a very specific piece of glass with a troubled history. Finally, our biggest piece of news: Starting with this issue, GASnews will no longer live behind the membership paywall. Everyone can now access the excellent writing from our vibrant glass community, whether they’re a GAS member or not. I am feeling grateful for the contributors who’ve given their time and energy to GASnews this year, and to the members who make this little magazine possible. I look forward to more exciting changes and working with more brilliant writers in 2024.

For many of us who love glass, it is the boundless potential of the material that draws us to it. The science behind glass is the magic that makes it so versatile. Science is often the underlying framework for glass art, and we are excited to highlight that in this issue of GASnews. This issue looks at the science of glass through several different lenses–from the atomic to the artistic. Sally Prasch and Beth Hylen examine the history of scientific glassblowing and explore how these techniques influence artists’ work. Dr. Mark Naylor shows us the vast possibilities of different glass formulations– humanity has barely scratched the surface of what is possible with glass, including compositions that do not include silicon. Maria Eugenia Diaz de Vivar provides a thoughtful discussion with Pablo La Padula, whose work centers around materiality and, thus, the science of glass to bring his concepts to life. GASnews Editor Robin Babb explores the artistic use and sale of trinitite, a glass residue of the atomic bomb tests in 1945. Fumio Adachi brings technique into focus with a tutorial on how he uses software to realize his designs in glass. In addition to the wonderful and insightful information shared in this issue, the Winter 2023 issue of GASnews is extra special. GASnews will be publicly available starting with this issue, regardless of your status as a GAS member. This is just the most recent change GAS is making to ensure everyone has access to resources that will allow them to work with glass, and we are excited to share it as we close out 2023. A critical forum for glass discussion, each new issue of GASnews will be publicly available for a year to provide equitable access to ongoing glass criticism and knowledge. The next issue of GASnews will be themed Where Art + Design Meet, mirroring the theme of the 2024 Conference in Berlin. The conference is scheduled for May 15-18, 2024, and early bird registration ends on January 12. We hope to see you there! Happy reading,

Robin Babb GASnews Editor Brandi P. Clark Executive Director GASNEWS




WHY ARTISTS SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT SCIENTIFIC GLASSBLOWERS DO by Sally Prasch and Beth Hylen Artists throughout the world are using scientific glassblowing techniques in their work. Professional scientific glassblowers, artists who commission scientific glassblowers to fabricate elements, and other flameworkers incorporate scientific practices as they create their artwork. In this brief article we will introduce scientific glassmaking and touch on its history. We will hear from several artists who explain why these techniques are important to their work. We hope to challenge how you think of scientific glassblowing.

What is scientific glassblowing? At universities and throughout the glass industry, scientific glassblowers construct the elaborate apparatus often needed for laboratory experiments. From the Galileo Telescope to Newton’s prism to the compound microscope; vacuum technology to the use of pure silica to detect gravitational waves—without scientific glassblowers, major scientific breakthroughs would never have happened.

Scientific glassblowing and contemporary artistic glass seemed worlds apart for much of the 20th century, but they were not always separate. Glenn Adamson asserts that “alchemical research and other forms of early modern science made no firm distinction between artisanal and learned forms of knowledge (there was an active interchange…).” ¹ Some of the earliest lampworkers produced a wide range of products, as seen in this illustration of a lampworker published in 1769. He is surrounded by a variety of wares ranging from barometers and scientific apparatus to glass eyes, elaborate birds, figurines, flowers, and centerpieces.

apparatus. Apprentices were rigorously trained and secrets were guarded. Lampworking for other purposes developed separately and there was little communication between the two branches. This is changing. What can we learn from each other? In this article, we can cover just a few examples of the many artists who meld art with scientific techniques. To hear from artists with varied perspectives, we asked Tim Drier, Doni Hatz, Amy Lemaire, Boryana Rossa, and Sally Prasch this question: “In a few sentences, could you tell us why you chose scientific glass as a central part of your art work?” We mention a few others as well.

But gradually, skilled glassblowers were needed to build the highly specialized equipment needed for distillation, vacuum manifold systems, and extraction

Scientific glassblowers are trained to work with a variety of glasses: borosilicate, soft glasses, Vycor, quartz, and many others. Depending on the experiment, they usually start with glass tubing and use bench and hand torches to manipulate the glass into apparatus. If the glass is too large or too small to handle by hand, a glassblowing lathe is used to turn the glass. Making apparatus requires meticulously sealing glass tubes together using different techniques. Some of these seals include side, straight, ring, blind, Dieter, Dewar, and more. Many artists and pipemakers incorporate these seals, as well as the lathe, into their work today. At GAS we usually use “flameworking” or “lampworking” to describe working at the torch, but within the scientific community, flameworkers are traditionally called “scientific glassblowers.”


CMGL 92630. An illustration of a lampworker and his wares. Courtesy of the Rakow Research Library, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY. ²




Scientific glassblowers who use scientific techniques to create their artistic work

Tim Drier constructs elaborate steins and goblets that are reminiscent of trick glasses. "My work is pushing the boundaries of traditional drinkware. By using my scientific research glassblowing experience I am able to infuse both [art and science], to create visual enjoyment, as well as a futuristic uniqueness that is not found in everyday barware."

Two elaborate glasses made by Tim Drier. Photo courtesy of Tim Drier.

Doni Hatz, a scientific glassblower at Proctor and Gamble Co., says: “Scientific glass training has heightened my ability to build highly complicated glassware. It is fun to transform technical glass into art glass using scientific techniques. “Scientific glassblowing is a part of all my work. It is integral in many projects with side seals. For example, when I make a bird’s nest sculpture that has a glass nest sealed inside a 100mm OD tube…. The seals must be sealed in properly or the outside tube will crack. Proper methods lead to success. I’ve been given the tools to learn techniques from several masters that have enhanced my skill sets. “Scientific glassblowing has increased my capability to make anything I want. With the ability to build complicated intricate glassware, with sound construction [so]… it won’t break, I will continue to push the limit.” Doni Hatz - “Nest Eggs.” Photo courtesy of Doni Hatz.





“Scientific glassblowing has increased my capability to make anything I want. With the ability to build complicated intricate glassware, with sound construction [so]…it won’t break, I will continue to push the limit.” - Doni Hatz

Doni Hatz working on the glassblowing lathe. Photo courtesy of Doni Hatz.

Sally Prasch, owner of Prasch Glass and scientific glassblower at the University of Mass at Amherst explains: “I have always incorporated scientific techniques into my artwork, as my teacher Lloyd Moore did before me. Neither of us see the difference between the two. To tell you the truth, I also put my artistic work into my scientific glassblowing. There are some wild vacuum manifolds out there. I started teaching glass in the 1970s and have always included scientific glassblowing and artistic techniques into the class." “When creating glass for others I work closely with my clients on their project; problem solving as well as assembling new glass items. Innovative research and art often require new glasses and new ways of working with glass. Together they create the next steps in science and art.”

Sally Prasch - “Blown Away.” Photo courtesy of Sally Prasch.





Artists who use scientific techniques Amy Lemaire is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator. She told us: “The field of scientific glassblowing is central to my work in several ways. The methods I use to fabricate my work are adopted from scientific glassblowing—lathe, ring stands, and lab clamps and holders, vacuum manifold—these tools are essential in the fabrication of my work, and I learned to use these at Salem Community College, where I am immersed in a community of scientific glassblowers, many of whom are also artists. I am also heavily influenced by the visual language of scientific apparatus, specifically how these forms have a close proximity to the technology that shape our contemporary world and enable an expanded perception and understanding of the world. "Through teaching Plasma Design, I have the privilege of working with scientific glassworkers to produce artwork … and with young glassworkers who are blurring the boundaries between art and science by applying their scientific fabrication skills to produce artwork.”

Amy Lemaire at work in the studio. Photo courtesy of Amy Lemaire.

Wayne Strattman’s work in lighted glass plasma technology requires meticulous glass seals. He publishes and teaches neon art, including a two-semester course in scientific glassblowing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He told us:

Wayne Strattman. Hand of Lightning. Photo courtesy of Wayne Strattman




“From the beginning my ‘work’ has combined two passions, art and science, because I don’t see them as mutually exclusive, which is a trait imposed on them in the modern era. Before our age of specialization, ‘natural philosophers’ embraced curiosity whether that led to what we call science or art. Think [Leonardo] da Vinci and his ‘work’. The techniques and understandings from each field aid each other.”


Artists who rely on scientific glassblowers to fabricate pieces for their sculptural work

Boryana Rossa, Oleg Mavromatti, Michael Edel. “The Mirror of Faith” 2004-2018. Glass by Sally Prasch. (This image is part of a larger art installation.) Photo courtesy of Boryana Rossa.

In “The Mirror of Faith,” the artists Boryana Rossa, Oleg Mavromatti, and researcher Michael Edel create a bio-art project, “meant to provoke critical public dialogue about genetic research, exposing some issues this technology and its political and commercial promotion creates.” The installation combines bio-art, film, drawing, and painting. They commissioned scientific glassblower Sally Prasch to create a hinged sculptural vessel at the heart of the piece. 3, 4

“We wanted to incorporate in our work The Mirror of Faith a glass that functions


simultaneously as a container of a petri dish with a living yeast culture and has a symbolic meaning. “It was important to us that the work incorporates knowledge from both art and science, and presents it in a manner that sparks the curiosity of people who are from one or the other field, or who have no relation to either of them to further investigate the questions of communication of scientific knowledge that our work is posing.


“We believe that sciences and arts are intrinsically connected. They have been connected historically. Many of the scientists have also been artists and have been drawing knowledge from a variety of fields…. “Finally, the aesthetic of scientific glass is enigmatic when someone does not know the exact function of the glass piece. Looking at scientific equipment as an art piece, as a sculpture or as an art installation, is another way to induce imagination.”



Other artists who have used scientific glassblowers to fabricate their designs include Richard Meitner, Donald Lipsky, Paul Lincoln, and Jeffery Schiff.

Sally Prasch is the owner of Prasch Glass. She teaches and works at the University of Massachusetts. She exhibits and teaches glass worldwide.

In particular, Meitner is a strong advocate for blending science and art. He states in his website that he is a member of the research group VICARTE, at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal. “The group…fosters a Master’s degree program in The Art and Science of Glass and Ceramics … a joint project with the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Lisbon.” 5

Beth Hylen is a glass artist and researcher; retired reference librarian at the Rakow Research Library and the Corning Museum of Glass

You can learn scientific glassblowing through apprenticeship programs, or Salem Community College has a degree program. The American Scientific Glassblowers Society (ASGS) offers short workshops and seminars. For more information: Tim Drier’s glasses: glass-blower-creates-unique-beer-glasses/

Boryana Rossa: Sally Prasch: VICARTE: References: 1. Adamson, Glen. The Invention of Craft. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013, p. 131. 2. J. d. B., Disting., and Diesing. Die Glasschmelzkunst, bey der Lampe.... Wien: gedruckt mit Schulzischen Schriften, 1769. 3. “The Mirror of Faith”: https://boryanarossa. com/the-mirror-of-faith/ 4. Bio-Art: BioArt Pushes the Limits of Visual Art, Science and Technology 5. Richard Meitner: links/

You can find videos of his creations on Instagram and Facebook: BarwaREimagined by @driertim

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This has been but a brief glimpse into the ways artists employ the skills and techniques of scientific glassblowers. The authors believe the two disciplines are complementary. According to Sally Prasch, artists and scientific glassblowers share a motive: “They are both reaching to create something new. It is time that scientists and artists come together.”


Doni Hatz: sulptural/doni-hatz-understanding-scientific-glass. html Amy Lemaire:

Berlin, Germany | May 15 - 18

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THE EXISTENCE OF GLASS by Mark Naylor Since at least 2050 BC, humans have been exploring glass compositions.¹ The first glass researchers were putting together chemical combinations as far back as 4,000 years ago to discover new compositions and find out what’s possible with this amazing material. It has been estimated that 300000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 different glasses (yes, that is 300 zeros) could be made with 80 elements from the periodic table, yet the largest accessible glass database for scientists contains about 360,000 different glasses and melts recorded from journals and patents. 2,3

I’m sure, throughout all of human history, there have undoubtedly been more glass compositions explored but not recorded. Glass is a non-equilibrium, non-crystalline condensed state of matter that exhibits a glass transition, as refurbished recently by some premier glass scientists.⁴ Simply put, the existence of glass relies on avoiding crystallization while cooling from a liquid state to a “solid” state. Artists might know crystallization as devitrification. Even Nature faces the same glass formation challenges with fulgurites and lava flows. This definition of glass embraces an unbelievable number of chemistries like glassy polymers, glassy metals, and glassy ceramics into the large family of glasses. It’s wild to think that the ancient glassmakers faced the same task as glass researchers today: avoiding crystallization while cooling your melt! Most attempts to create glass surely resulted with partially

crystallized and poorly reacted chemical combinations that ultimately did not work. As a glass researcher, I’ve seen many of my own failed melts look like the translucent blue glass specimen dated 2050 BC at the British Museum: a bubbled-up crystallized “rock” with some glass on the side. 5 It can be discouraging to encounter so many unsuccessful attempts, but if the glass researcher can keep learning from every failure, then glass formation can become better understood and utilized to create something valuable and meaningful. The 3D connected atomic structure for most glasses is known as the vitreous network.6 Most of the glasses that people know of today are oxide glasses based on the silicate vitreous network. For silicate glass the SiO4 tetrahedron is the main building block of the network. It can be described as a 4-sided pyramid having a triangular base. There’s a silicon ion at the center surrounded by four oxygen ions at

Figure 1: Molecular Dynamics simulations made by the author in 2010 using DL_POLY V2 with 5,400 ions with ~5700 C melting simulation cooled at ~6000 C/min with a lithium disilicate glass on the left. The lithium disilicate crystal structure is on the right with some expansion beyond the unit cell. Lithium ions are gray and SiO2 tetrahedra are in blue.





each corner of the tetrahedron. Let’s just say for now that the tetrahedra connect together at the corners and form a very connected network of SiO4 tetrahedra. The problem for the glass researcher arises when the non-equilibrium liquid structure begins to crystallize into the equilibrium crystal structure. Crystallization requires the vitreous network to shift and rearrange so that atoms align to form a uniform and ordered solid. The equilibrium crystal phase has a lower energy state, therefore nature prefers to move in the direction of crystallization if possible. Let’s look at a lithium disilicate glass and crystal in Figure 1 to see what must happen. The vitreous network of lithium disilicate glass is on the left of the image where you can see lithium ions in gray and silica tetrahedra in blue. You can see that it looks like a jumbled mess with the glass network where the lithium ions are all over the place; it lacks order. Don’t be confused though, because there is absolutely a method to the madness in vitreous networks, I promise you! On the right is the atomic structure of a lithium disilicate crystal. You can see the structure has militant order with precise spacings and locations for the atomic arrangement. The glass and crystal structures are quite different even though they have identical atoms and composition. The nonequilibrium structure on the left must order itself by shifting atoms around to match the equilibrium crystal on the right for crystallization to occur. One way to avoid crystallization is to work with high viscosity melts where the fluidity is low. High viscosity melts slow down the motion of atoms to stop crystallization processes (imagine honey slowly running out of the jar!). So, if our melt is very viscous and we go to cool our glass and the atoms cannot realign precisely to form the ordered crystal structure, then we will retain our vitreous network and glass can exist! But if the melt has a low viscosity (similar to water) when we go to cool our GASNEWS


Figure 2. Scanning Electron Microscope images of borate melts quenched with varying cooling rates of 400 °C/s (left), 100 °C/s (middle), and 1 °C/s (right). Faster cooling rates allow more glass formation.

glass, then the atoms can rapidly rearrange to form the ordered crystal phase and we’ll create crystals instead of glass. Glass scientists control melt viscosity using cooling rates as a way to mitigate crystallization as shown in Figure 2. Very fast cooling rates were required to make a borate glass, and slow cooling rates resulted in more crystallization. A great industrial example is with initial amorphous metal research in the 1960s where they had to cool the melt at 1 million degrees per second to get glass formation! ⁷ As the industry matured and they researched how to avoid crystallization processes, they discovered techniques to cool at common rates of 1 to 100 degrees per second and still make glass. I’m sure you know about glass families using the silicate vitreous network like soda-lime-silicate (Na2O-CaO-SiO2), sodium borosilicate (Na2O-B2O3-SiO2), alkali aluminosilicate (Na2O-Al2O3-SiO2), alkaline earth aluminosilicate (CaO-Al2O3SiO2), and vitreous silica (SiO2). But things get very interesting as we branch out into more esoteric glass compositions that utilize borate (B2O3), phosphate (P2O5), or tellurite (TeO2) structures as the main vitreous network former rather than silica (SiO2). There are many non-silicate glass systems out there with useful applications including alumino-phosphate (Na2O-Al2O3-P2O5) glass for laser applications and lead tellurite (PbO-TeO2) glasses for solar cell contacts. Even weirder are glasses without silica or oxygen, like arsenic selenide


(AsSe) glass for night vision technology, or lithium phospho-sulfide (Li2P2S6) glasses used for solid state lithium-ion batteries, or the glassy metals (ZrTiCuNiBe) in aerospace applications. All of these unique and useful glass compositions can be created by mixing the correct raw materials, melting them in a crucible or container, and then cooling the liquid to form a non-equilibrium, non-crystalline glass. Every inventor that explored the glass families above made many glasses that crystallized on cooling, but eventually, after much trial and error, found a few glasses that passed the test and did not crystallize. Glass can also crystallize on heating, so now you know that it is a blessing when non-equilibrium aligns for you to create a stable glass on heating and cooling for the existence of your artwork or collection. Glass crystallization research is still a very hot topic. A recent article from 2022 titled “Theory of Crystal Nucleation of Glass-Forming Liquids: Some New Developments” attempts to clarify unexplained crystallization phenomena that occurs at and below glass transition temperatures where structural relaxation states at metastable equilibrium can affect surface tension parameters of the nucleus/ glass interface. 8 Simply put, their research is shining light on crystallization processes at temperatures at the annealing and strain points of glass. There is so much more to discuss regarding crystallization processes, but


for now I hope you have a much better understanding of how glass comes into existence. If nothing else, questions and curiosity are all for the better! The images in Figure 1 were generated from my own atomistic simulations of disilicate glasses in 2010 during my PhD work at Alfred University, and it has inspired my latest sculptures. Our goal at the time was to study structural nucleation mechanisms in glasses that exhibit homogeneous nucleation compared to those requiring heterogeneous nucleation for crystallization. I quickly became obsessed with the new visualizations of glass structures and would spend entire days examining atomic locations and medium range order structures. Obsession with the atomistic simulations spawned my use of a gaffer slot while co-teaching neon with Fred Tschida at Pilchuck in 2013. We actually made two vitreous networks and they were glorious, with incredible optics, shown in Figure 3 on the left. This is literally glass made of

glass. The Atomistic Series will be one part of a new larger body of work focused on the spiritual development of humans that blends science and art. The Atomistic Series sculptures are vitreous networks representing pure physical structure of the outer physical world around us in contrast to the emotional and mental structure of our inner lives. Dr. Mark Naylor is a glass scientist and artist with 20 years experience in glass research including 8 years of industrial glass development after receiving his PhD from Alfred University in 2012. After 20 years of working with neon sculpture and teaching at Urban Glass, Brooklyn Glass, The Toledo Museum of Art, and Pilchuck Glass School his work has shifted focus back to solid glass sculpture facilitating discussions about the outer and inner world of human life.

References: 1.






7. 8.

Origins of Glassmaking. (2011, December 1). Corning Museum of Glass. Retrieved November 15 2023, from Zanotto, E., & Coutinho, F. (2004). How many noncrystalline solids can be made from all the elements of the periodic table?. J Non Cryst Solids, 347, 285-288. SciGlass. (n.d.). Akoscheminformatics. Retrieved November 15, 2023, from https://www. Zanotto, E., & Mauro, J. (2017). The glassy state of matter: its definition and ultimate fate. J Non Cryst Solids, 471, 490-495. Sample. (n.d.). The British Museum. Retrieved November 15, 2023, from https:// object/W_1919-1011-4039 Shelby, J.E. Introduction to Glass Science and Technology. 2nd ed., The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2005. Telford, M. (2004). The case for bulk metallic glass, Materials Today, 7, 36-43 Schmelzer, J. & Tropin, T. (2022). Theory of Crystal Nucleation of Glass-Forming Liquids: Some New Developments. Int J Applied Glass Sci, 13(2), 171198.

Figure 3. Left: Atomistic #2, glass, 1.5’ x 1’ x 1’, 2013 (Photo credit: Granite Campilong). Right: Atomistic sculptures in process with flameworked borosilicate glass. (Photo credit: Thandie Lottering)





TRINITITE, THE GLASS THAT THE BOMB MADE By Robin Babb Somehow, despite living here in Albuquerque for about eight years, I had never been to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History until quite recently. It’s one of those places that really only appeals if you’re a tourist or have family visiting, and are looking for things to do that can supposedly entertain both the adults and children. Located just north of the Kirtland Air Force Base, it stands out from every building in the vicinity—in part just because of its size, but also because of the many decommissioned fighter jets and warheads in its backyard, stamped with names like THUNDERCHIEF and, of course, PEACEMAKER. There, in the outdoor ‘history park’ behind the museum, they’ve also recreated the tower that was used in the Trinity Site bomb test. You can go stand underneath it, and read an interpretive plaque about Oppenheimer’s Gadget, if that’s your bag. But I am not here on some Oppenheimer obsessive pilgrimage. I am here to visit one very specific artifact. Without context, the lump of muddy green glass is not much to look at. When you learn, though, that this little piece of glass is related to the Manhattan Project, that context begins to weave a much larger story. This is trinitite, also called atomsite or Alamogordo glass. After the bomb was dropped on the Trinity test site in southern New Mexico, a pit of green glass was formed in the heat of the explosion. How much trinitite was created in the blast? “Estimates range from tens of tons to hundreds of tons,” says Martin Pfeiffer, a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Pfeiffer’s research centers on the semiotics of nuclear weapons in the US, and his research has taken him often to both Trinity Site and to the National Museum of Nuclear GASNEWS


Layo Bright, Adebisi VII, kiln formed glass, 2020, 11.5 x 11.5 x 3 in. Photo by Chris Garder, courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery.

The author, visiting the shrine to Oppenheimer. Courtesy Ewan Hill.

Science & History. Before I met with him, he emailed me a video that shows the extent of the trinitite creation, shot from a plane going over Trinity Site shortly after the bomb test. Though the video is shaky and grainy, you can clearly see what looks like a spiderwebby lake of jade spreading out below. “In September [1945], Oppenheimer and Groves and others from Los Alamos took


reporters on a junket through the site, they all picked up some trinitite—the reporters were wanded on the way out to make sure they weren’t red hot [with radiation], but nobody prevented them from taking samples from the site,” Pfeiffer says. Those samples that the reporters took later wound up displayed on their bookshelves or sold to rockhounds and the atomically curious.


Later on, it became illegal to take trinitite from Trinity, and the site was bulldozed in 1954, burying or pulverizing most of the remaining samples of the glass. According to the Key West Citizen from that year, “The Atomic Energy Commission didn’t want to take any chances that the desert wind might stir up radioactive dust from the trinitite as it slowly disintegrated.” Of course, as many of the residents of the surrounding Tularosa Basin intimately know, this sudden caution nine years after the fact was entirely too little too late—and particles of ‘disintegrated glass’ was only one form of radioactive fallout that was created after the bomb test: fallout that drifted into the air and mixed into the soil and water of the basin in the hours and days after the bomb test, and whose repercussions are still being felt today. Still, though, on the two days a year that the White Sands Missile Range (which now manages the old test site) opens up Trinity to visitors, you will see tourists scouring the sand for samples, despite the many harshly worded signs informing them that removal of trinitite is considered theft of government property, punishable by fines or jail time. You will also see, at the rock shops that line the road outside the test site, that the buying and selling of trinitite remains as active as ever. (That part is still legal.) Some people built significant collections of trinitite. “I assume there’s still some garages with a significant amount of it collected in ammo cans or whatever,” Pfeiffer says, “and the museum of Nuclear Science & History] was selling it up until recently. You’ll come across fake trinitite, too.” Indeed, if you search “trinitite for sale” online, you will find many websites dedicated specifically to this—as well as vendors of varying degrees of shadiness hocking little vials and chunks of what could be trinitite, or could be any other random piece of natural or manufactured green glass. The only way to know for


A trinitite sample. Photographer and date unknown. Courtesy Pfeiffer Nuclear Weapon and National Security Archive.

sure, of course, is to bust out your handy dosimeter or Geiger counter. The question that comes up about trinitite everywhere you look online, from atomic age collectors or rockhounds or just the morbidly curious on Reddit: Is it safe? It is an impossible question to answer, because safety is always relative. Yes, it is radioactive—but so are a lot of things. The consensus seems to be that, as long as you don’t eat it, you’re probably in the clear. Still, though, Pfeiffer says he always washes his hands after handling it. But what about wearing it? As strange as it sounds, there was some trinitite jewelry made in the 40s. Sometimes it was polished into a gleaming green gem, but sometimes it was left in its raw form. It was turned into earrings and necklaces and hair clips and brooches. Pfeiffer has a pair of trinitite earrings that a friend made for him, but he says he doesn’t wear them much anymore.


There was not a huge commercial market for the items, as most people—very reasonably—were at least a little wary of wearing anything created in a nuclear bomb blast. But in a news article from the Mechanix Illustrated issue of March, 1946, there is a photo of the actress Pat Burrage wearing trinitite earrings and a hairpin with a chunk of the bottle-green rock embedded in it. The hairpin is designed in the shape of an atom. “Though at first this might seem to show a frivolous attitude towards a very serious subject,” the accompanying article says, “the purpose behind it was a good one: to refute claims made by the Japanese that [trinitite] is radioactive long after an explosion of an atomic bomb.” Of course, as we now know, the claims about trinitite—and the many other forms of nuclear fallout—continuing to be radioactive long after the bomb were true. “Oh, yeah,” Pfeiffer says, “Trinitite was



At that threshold, there’s an old newspaper photo that’s been blown way up and adhered to the wall. It shows a crowd of women holding up the front page of the newspaper from the day before: the headline reads “The War Is Over” in big block letters. All these women are white, of course, and they’re all young and pretty. Coiffed, with lipstick and smart, tailored dresses on. From an era of stylized American femininity that I’ve never known. These young women are jubilant, smiling ear to ear. Some of them appear to be crying with joy. I wonder how many of them had brothers or boyfriends or fathers fighting in Europe. I wonder how many of them have uranium glassware, or radiumcoated clocks, or trinitite jewelry back at home—and, if they do, if they ever pause while they’re putting it on, to ponder the origin of that little piece of muddy glass. Robin Babb is the editor of GASnews.

A man sorts through a collection of trinitite, kept in trash cans. Photographer and date unknown. Courtesy Pfeiffer Nuclear Weapon and National Security Archive.

explicitly uptaken and articulated as propaganda by the US government to negate claims from the Japanese about long lasting radioactivity after the bombs.” It’s not just the trinitite jewelry, but the manufacture and popularity of uranium glass, or radium-coated glow-in-the-dark clock faces, that all seem to narrate an agenda: although this stuff was used to make an unprecedented weapon, it’s also safe as houses. So learn to stop worrying, and love the bomb. I will be frank, and say that these little bits of atomic era kitsch and propaganda deeply unsettle me. There was and still is a lot of Americana kitsch around the atom bomb and the promise of nuclear energy, as a trip to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will show you: “atomic science” toy


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kits for nerdy kids, the Little Prospector Uranium Detector, which is nothing more than two metal dowsing rods with glow-inthe-dark bits painted on them. A lot of this kitsch attempts, I think, to obfuscate the fact that we dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that those bombs killed innocent Japanese civilians. Hundreds of thousands of them. That museum is full to the brim with old military paraphernalia, recreations of the labs at Los Alamos that created the bomb, and a few exhibits about nuclear engineering and technology that are shellacked with sponsorships by nuclear energy companies. I whisked through most of it, having seen the one thing I had really come to see, but then paused on my way out of the main exhibit, about the bomb and WWII.


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A METHOD TO CREATE GRAPHITE MOLDS FROM COMPUTER GRAPHICS By Fumio Adachi In this article, I would like to present a method for creating graphite molds using computer graphics software and 3D CAD1, which I typically use in my artwork production. This method is very useful as it allows artists to translate their ideas into physical objects with great accuracy. While using it with ease may take some practice, it proves to be one of the most efficient and convenient ways of creating glass molds.

Specifically, I use ZBrush for computer graphics software and Fusion 360 for 3D CAD. Simpler and more cost-effective software like Nomad Sculpt have been developed and may be used as well, depending on the size and simplicity of the artistic design. Due to the recent rise in energy costs and glass material prices, artists have been

developing more convenient and costeffective ways of producing their art. These methods often shift the emphasis from capturing the essence of the artist’s vision to practical considerations. Computer software, on the other hand, reduces the cost without sacrificing the essence of the work. In this manner, the artist’s imagination becomes the central focus. It is my hope that this method will lead to further advancements and breakthroughs in this exciting and innovative field.

Below are the steps of the procedure. 1. First, open ZBrush, and then click on “LightBox.” Next, click on “Project,” and select “DynaMesh Sphere_128 ZPR.” 2. Click on “Size” in “Geometry” and enter any dimension you want for "XYZ.” 3. Click on “Standard brush” on the left panel and create ridges on the surface of the oval object. 4. Click on “Zsub” and create grooves in the object. This resembles working with actual clay very closely. 5. Change the brush to “Smooth” and smooth out uneven surfaces. Smooth out the area where the brush strokes are not sufficiently blended until the surface transitions smoothly without any discontinuities. Switch the standard brush back to “Zadd” and add a little volume to the areas that have been too heavily dented. 6. Click on “Pinch” and sharpen the ridges. 7. Change the brush to “Move” and adjust the ridges by pushing and pulling them for fine- tuning. This object is actually a mesh


The mold data in ZBrush. Photo courtesy of the artist.

body. With further process, the number of polygons comprising the mesh will continue to grow. 8. Rotate the object 90 degrees by dragging the statue at the top right of the screen and rotating it 90 degrees. 9. The next step is to flatten the back of the object. Click on the “Cube 3D” in the “Subtool- Insert,” and then on “Move” and a universal manipulator called "Gizmo 3D" will appear. Drag the blue arrow to move the manipulator left or right in relation to GASNEWS

screen. If you move the gizmo to the left, a small cube will appear inside the object. 10. Next, drag the blue, green, and red squares of the gizmo to enlarge the cube to the desired shape and size. 11. Rotate the rectangular parallelepiped and elliptical object 90 degrees and adjust the size of the rectangular parallelepiped from the front. 12. Cover the area to be erased with the rectangle.



13. Click on “DynaMesh” under “Geometry.” It’s for uniformizing the mesh surface and allowing and allowing more nuanced alterations to the shape. 14. In “Subtool,” position the part of the object you want to keep on the top, and the part of the object you want to erase (including the rectangle itself) on the bottom. For the former, click on the connected circle; for the latter, click on the crescent-shaped half-circle. 15. After clicking “Merge Down” in “Merge,” hold down the “Command key” and drag anywhere on the screen. This erases the back of the object along with the entire rectangle.

The grooved oval object data in ZBrush. Photo courtesy of the artist.

16. Next, cover the remaining part of the object with the rectangle. This is done by clicking “Move” to make Gizmo 3-D appear, and then dragging the blue arrow to the desired position. The rectangle can be enlarged and altered by means of “Size” in “Geometry,” the rectangle functions as a parallelepiped in which the remaining part of the object is embedded. 17. Be sure to click on “DynaMesh” in “Geometry,” In “Subtool,” the rectangle icon is positioned on top and the object icon is positioned on the bottom. This enables the remaining part of the object to be erased, leaving a negative shape in its place. The negative shape is used as a mold. During the above process, make sure the double connected circle is clicked next to the object. 18. Click “Merge Down” in “Merge,” then hold down “Command Key” and drag anywhere on the screen to erase the object. 19. The number of polygons in the mesh is significantly higher than before, due to the above steps. Use “Decimation Master” in the “Zplugin” to reduce the number of polygons in the mesh while preserving the shape of the object. GASNEWS

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The mold data in ZBrush. Photo courtesy of the artist.

20. Click “ZRemesher” in “Geometry” to make the mesh more uniform, i.e., comprised only of squares.

23. Click on “INSERT” and then on “Insert Mesh” in the dropbox to make the mesh data appear in Fusion.

21. Finally, click on “Scale Master” in “ZPlugin” to access “Set Scene Scale.” And choose the size and unit of measurement. Use OBJ format which allows the mesh data to be successfully transferred to Fusion 360, since the latter only accepts quad meshes.

24. Now we get to the main step of the procedure: Converting meshes to solids. First, Click "SOLID-CREATE-Create Form." Select “UTILITIES” from the menu bar and click on “Convert”. Then, Select “Quad Mesh to T-Splines” and click on “Mesh data”. Finally, Click “OK.” “T- Splines,” a tool unique to Fusion 360, allows for more detailed manipulation of the mesh than the control points used in NURBS by dividing the Polygons into smaller units.

22. To transfer the mesh data to Fusion 360, go to “SOLID”.


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25. After confirming the data has been converted to T-Splines, once again select “UTILITIES” from the menu bar and click “Convert.” Click on “T- Splines to BRep” and then on “Mesh data.” Finally, click “OK.” This converts the mesh data into a solid. “BRep” solidifies the object by connecting surfaces in all directions and making the interior invisible. 26. Click first on “File,” then on “Export” and finally on “STEP files.” Once you have confirmed that the data has been converted to “STEP Files,” send it to a CNC machining service provider. That’s it. PLEASE NOTE: The above steps are intended for a CNC with the CAM that only accepts “STEP Files” as solid data. If your CNC and CAM accept other file formats such as “OBJ or STL Files” as mesh data, convert the data from Step 21 to that format and input it.

The BRep mold data in Fusion360. Photo courtesy of the artist.

If you are interested in the details of this process, please email me at adachifumio@ and I will be happy to send you the video free of charge. Since the 1980s, Fumio Ren Adachi has been creating glass works using molds. He has his MFA from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture. [a] 3D CAD is a software that enables the creation, alteration, and visualization of three dimensional models on a computer. Various industries, such as architecture, engineering, and manufacturing, use it to design and prototype products or structures.





EXPLORING THE INTERSECTION OF SCIENCE, ART, AND GLASS: A CONVERSATION WITH PABLO LA PADULA By Maria E. Diaz de Vivar Pablo La Padula, an Argentine scientist and artist, seamlessly integrates the realms of science, art, and glass, creating a captivating dialogue through his exploration of glass as a medium. His visual creations not only challenge the boundaries of traditional disciplines but also offer a unique perspective on the symbiotic relationship between transparency, fragility, and resilience. Join us in delving into the fascinating confluence of science, art, and glass through Pablo La Padula's intricate and provocative works.

Interview Maria E. Diaz de Vivar: Glass has traditionally been used in scientific laboratories and has a long tradition in art. How do you incorporate or merge these two aspects in your artistic expression? What led you to choose glass as a medium to express your ideas about science and art? Pablo La Padula: I started working with glass based on a perception in my laboratory of the aesthetic and conceptual relevance that this element holds. Additionally, I discovered old glass slides from the mid-20th century in my laboratory that were used for scientific presentations, containing images and visual diagrams. This inspired me to use glass as a support for my paintings and drawings reflecting on scientific aesthetics. By adding them to the glass, I closed a conceptual circle.

Portrait of Pablo La Padula. Photo by Noelia Garcia.

Alimaña, 1999 Photo by Pablo La Padula.


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Maria E. Diaz de Vivar: How present is this material in your artistic productions and why? Pablo La Padula: Glass is constitutive in my work because I believe the materiality of the artwork speaks alongside its content. Glass symbolizes transparency in vision and support, and at the same time, the ability to withstand any abrasive and contaminating effects of the environment, as it can be sterilized at high temperatures (Pyrex glass) and with detergents without modification. Therefore, it is the foundation, the support of every scientific experiment. From this symbolic and physical perspective, glass in my work invokes these constitutive qualities of scientific thought.

Installation detail of Cubo alquímico y Cuerpo de humo, 2022. Photo by Pablo La Padula.

Cubo alquímico, 2022. Photo by Pablo La Padula.





Cuerpo de humo, 2022. Photo by Pablo La Padula.

Maria E. Diaz de Vivar: The use of glass in your artistic work is intriguing. Could you explain how you perceive the relationship between the transparency and fragility of glass in relation to the intersection between science and art in your work?

common sense and the should-be of things. I want my work to be transparent, as pure as possible, but that utopia always holds a mystery, a vibration that makes you perceive the world from another angle, more sensitive and less mechanical.

Pablo La Padula: Glass has a symbolic charge of fragility, but in the laboratory, it is robust, withstands heat and fire, and is also malleable; you can work and design structural forms on it. We always worked with the glass artisan who would either recompose or custom design things we needed. This symbolic fragility in the field of art is key because it speaks to how things can be very different from how they are perceived, and art serves that function, among others, to make us see beyond

Maria E. Diaz de Vivar: Is there any piece where glass is central to conveying the message about the relationship between science and art in your work? Could you describe in more detail how glass is integrated into that particular piece and what it symbolizes for you in this context?


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of my own body. In this way, glass serves as a carrier and cover object, preserving the biological record of my own being, expanding the border of the purely aesthetic and acquiring a real value of biological-anatomical-documentary record. This links it, from a perspective of anatomical-anthropological tracing, to a possible shroud and the death masks of classical times as a legal right to be visually represented as part of existence in society; as a possible beginning of the portrait.

Pablo La Padula: I could summarize it in the work "Cuerpo de humo" ("Body of Smoke"), a piece created with fire on glass plates in which I create an imprint


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Maria E. Diaz de Vivar: How do you envision the evolution of the use of glass in the artistic realm in the coming years? Do you think glass will continue to be a relevant medium for artists, or do you foresee the arrival of new materials that will transform artistic expression in the future? Pablo La Padula: I believe that materiality is very important in art. Glass maintains an ontological nature with the materialities of the earth that is difficult to surpass. I doubt it can be replaced. In my own work, when I have to replace it with acrylic, an artificial plastic element (in some cases for safety reasons), I feel that loss of the symbolic and material dimension of the noble materiality of glass, which I try to avoid as much as possible.

Gabinete de vidrio y hum, 2015. Photo by Pablo La Padula.

Maria E. Diaz de Vivar: Beyond glass, your work has been described as a dialogue between science and art. Could you share a specific experience where the internal dialogue between your scientific background and artistic expression has led you to discover something completely unexpected in your creative process? Pablo La Padula: The conceptual and material dialogue in me is ongoing between the logics of the laboratory and the studio, which continually feed into each other, as I practice both professions in parallel (referring to art and science in my particular case). The laboratory gives me sophistication of thought and methodology in the proper use of materials, and from the field of art, an unexpected symbolic perspective opens up. From the studio, I end up producing works that I later discover inscribed in the history of science, such as the photograms I create, which have a precedent in the history of 19th-century scientific photography. Also, the use of fire in the studio made me aware that in the laboratory, I also work with fire, but

Gabinete de vidrio y humo, 2015. Photo by Pablo La Padula.





at the cellular level: the combustion of cellular respiration in which I conduct my scientific activity. And so on, they both constantly dialogue and feed into each other. Also, developing a very precise working technique in the studio with the use of fire and glass made me realize how complex and delicate the development of techniques we use in the laboratory is. I learn that nothing is given; everything arises from intelligent experimentation with materials and conceptual reflection that expands understanding of the world we inhabit. I believe that ultimately, that is what the generation of knowledge is about, whether it comes from the field of art or science. Pablo La Padula, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1966, is a biologist and visual artist. With a Ph.D. and a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, he conducts biological research at the Alberto Taquíni Institute of Translational Medicine. La Padula has forged a career in both science and art, with works exhibited in renowned institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Buenos Aires and the Museum of Contemporary Art of the City of Buenos Aires.

As a teacher and curator, La Padula has made significant contributions in academic and cultural fields, participating in educational projects and curatorial initiatives in Argentina. His exploration of the relationship between science and art extends beyond visual works, as he has shared his knowledge in seminars on art, science, and nature. Additionally, as a member of the Cultural Council of the City of Buenos Aires and an academic advisor in various contexts, he has played a fundamental role in promoting and enriching the dialogue between science and art. As glass becomes a canvas for La Padula's explorations, his work transcends borders and challenges ingrained perceptions. In this dialogue between disciplines, glass emerges not only as a medium but as a language that connects the rigor of science with artistic expression. Through his work, La Padula not only invites us to contemplate aesthetic beauty but also encourages reflection on the inherent poetry of scientific thought. This intersection of science, art, and glass, orchestrated by La Padula, inspires us to reconsider the creative possibilities that emerge when boundaries blur and worlds

converge in a harmonious dance. Through our conversation, it becomes clear that La Padula not only uses glass as a medium but transforms it into a symbolic vehicle to explore transparency, fragility, and resilience, building bridges between seemingly disparate worlds: science and art. His creations are not only aesthetically captivating but also reveal the richness of the intersection between these disciplines, challenging perceptions and enriching our understanding of the world we inhabit. Maria E. Diaz de Vivar is an artist, researcher, writer and editor. Since 2007 she has directed the publication Objetos con Vidrio, an online platform that disseminates the work of contemporary artists and reflects the activity of artistic glass. She was a Member of the Executive Committee for South America South, responsible for the local organization linked to the events corresponding to the International Year of Glass 2022. She is part of the ACAV (Catalan Association of Glass Arts) Board of Directors.

Call for Glass Artists

Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass seeks artists working in glass for two events in 2024:

Catching Fire is an online and virtual auction of glass art, May 1–11, 2024. Email to apply.


GLASS Arts Festival is a weekend event featuring glass artists from around the country, August 9–10, 2024. Visit to apply.

Extraordinary glass experiences

Gabinete biologico (Tecnópolis), 2022. Photo by Pablo La Padula.


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EXPLORANDO LA INTERSECCIÓN DE CIENCIA, ARTE Y VIDRIO: UNA CONVERSACIÓN CON PABLO LA PADULA María E. Díaz de Vivar Pablo La Padula, científico y artista argentino, integra de manera fluida los mundos de la ciencia, el arte y el vidrio, creando un diálogo cautivador a través de su exploración del vidrio como medio. Sus creaciones visuales no solo desafían los límites de las disciplinas tradicionales, sino que también ofrecen una perspectiva única sobre la relación simbiótica entre transparencia, fragilidad y resistencia. Acompáñanos en adentrarnos en la fascinante confluencia de ciencia, arte y vidrio a través de las obras intrincadas y provocadoras de Pablo La Padula.

Entrevista María E. Díaz de Vivar: El vidrio ha sido utilizado tradicionalmente en laboratorios científicos y tiene una larga tradición en el arte. ¿Cómo incorporas o fusionas estos dos aspectos en tu expresión artística? ¿Qué te llevó a elegir el vidrio como medio para expresar tus ideas sobre ciencia y arte?

Pablo La Padula: Empiezo a trabajar sobre vidrio a partir de una percepción en mi laboratorio de la relevancia estética y conceptual que este elemento tiene, pero también paralela y fundamentalmente porque descubro en mi laboratorio antiguas diapositivas de mitad del siglo XX que eran usadas para presentaciones científicas, eran dos placas de vidrio que contenían imágenes y diagramas visuales en su interior. Esto me inspiró a usar el vidrio como soporte de mis pinturas y dibujos que reflexionan sobre la estética científica, y al sumarlos al vidrio cerraba un círculo conceptual.


Retrato. Foto por Noelia Garcia.

Alimaña, 1999. Foto por Pablo La Padula.




María E. Díaz de Vivar: ¿Qué tan presente esta en tus producciones artísticas este material y porqué? Pablo La Padula: El vidrio es constitutivo en mi obra porque considero que la materialidad de la obra habla a la par de su contenido. El vidrio simboliza la transparencia en la visión y en el soporte, y al mismo tiempo la potencia de soportar todo efecto abrasivo y contaminante del medio, dado que este se puede esterilizar a altas temperaturas (vidrio pirexs), y con detergentes sin modificarlo. Es por lo tanto la base, el soporte de todo experimento científico. Desde este lugar simbólico y de características físicas el vidrio en mi obra convoca estas cualidades constitutivas del pensamiento científico.

Cubo alquímico, 2023. Foto por Pablo La Padula.

Cubo alquímico, 2023. Foto por Pablo La Padula.


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Cuerpo de humo, 2022. Foto por Pablo La Padula.

María E. Díaz de Vivar: El uso del vidrio en tu obra artística es intrigante. ¿Podrías explicar cómo percibes la relación entre la transparencia y fragilidad del vidrio en relación con la intersección entre ciencia y arte en tu trabajo? Pablo La Padula: El vidrio tiene una carga simbólica de fragilidad, pero en el laboratorio es robusto, soporta el calor, el fuego y a la vez es maleable, se puede trabajar y diseñar sobre él formas estructurales. Siempre trabajamos con el artesano del vidrio que recomponía o diseñaba a medida cosas que necesitábamos. Esa fragilidad simbólica en el campo del arte es clave porque habla de cómo


las cosas pueden ser muy diferentes de cómo se las percibe, y el arte cumple esa función, entre otras, hacernos ver más allá del sentido común y del deber ser de las cosas. Yo deseo que mi obra sea transparente, lo más pura posible, pero esa utopía encierra siempre un misterio, una vibración que te haga percibir el mundo desde otro ángulo, más sensible y menos maquinal. María E. Díaz de Vivar: Existe alguna pieza en la que el vidrio sea central para transmitir el mensaje sobre la relación entre ciencia y arte en tu trabajo? ¿Podrías describir más a fondo cómo el vidrio se integra en esa pieza en particular y qué


simboliza para ti en este contexto? Pablo La Padula: Podria sintetizarlo en la obra “Cuerpo de humo”, un trabajo realizado con fuego sobre placas de vidrio en el cual creo una imprimación de mi propio cuerpo. De esta forma el vidrio funciona como porta y cubreobjeto, y preserva así el registro biológico de mi propio ser, ampliando la frontera de lo propiamente estético y adquiriendo un valor real de registro biológico-anatómicodocumental, que lo entronca desde una perspectiva de calco anatómicoantropológico a un posible santo sudario y las máscaras mortuorias de la época clásica como derecho jurídico de ser representado visualmente como parte de la existencia en sociedad; como un posible comienzo del retrato.



María E. Díaz de Vivar: ¿Cómo visualizas la evolución del uso del vidrio en el ámbito artístico en los próximos años? ¿Consideras que el vidrio seguirá siendo un medio relevante para los artistas o prevés la llegada de nuevos materiales que transformarán la expresión artística en el futuro?

Pablo La Padula: Creo que en el arte la materialidad es muy importante. El vidrio mantiene una naturaleza ontológica con las materialidades de la tierra difícil de superar. Dudo que pueda ser reemplazado. En mi propio trabajo cuando debo reemplazarlo por acrílico, elemento plástico artificial (en algunos caso por cuestiones de seguridad), sufro esa pérdida de la dimensión simbólica y material de la nobleza matérica del vidrio, lo cual trato de evitar en la medida de lo posible.

Gabinete biologico (Tecnópolis), 2022. Foto por Pablo La Padula.

María E. Díaz de Vivar: Más allá del vidrio, tu obra ha sido descrita como un diálogo entre la ciencia y el arte. ¿Podrías compartir una experiencia específica en la que el diálogo interno entre tu formación científica y tu expresión artística te haya llevado a descubrir algo completamente inesperado en tu proceso creativo?

Gabinete biologico (Tecnópolis), 2022. Foto por Pablo La Padula.


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Pablo La Padula: El diálogo conceptual y material en mi es permanente entre las lógicas del laboratorio y del taller, las cuales se retroalimentan continuamente, al ejercer ambas profesiones en paralelo (me refiero al arte y la ciencia en mi caso particular). El laboratorio me da sofisticación de pensamiento y metodología en el buen uso de los materiales, y desde el campo del arte, se habre una perspectiva simbólica insospechada. Desde el taller llego a producir obras que luego descubro inscriptas en la historia de la ciencia, como ser los fotogramas que realizo, y que tienen un antecedente en la historia de la fotografía científica del siglo XIX. También el uso del fuego en el taller me

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llevó a tomar conciencia de que en el laboratorio también trabajaba con fuego, pero a nivel celular: la combustión de la respiración celular en la cual desarrollo mi actividad científica. Y así sucesivamente ambos dialogan y se retroalimentan constantemente. También desarrollar una técnica de trabajo muy precisa en el taller con el uso del fuego y el vidrio, me hizo tomar conciencia de lo complejo y delicado que es el desarrollo de técnicas que usamos en el laboratorio. Aprendo que nada está dado, todo surge de la experimentación inteligente con los materiales y una reflexión conceptual que amplíe la intelección con el mundo que habitamos. Creo que en definitiva de eso se trata la generación de conocimiento, ya se que provenga del campo del arte o de la ciencia. Pablo La Padula, nacido en Buenos Aires, Argentina, en 1966, es biólogo y artista visual. Con un doctorado y una licenciatura en Ciencias Biológicas de la Universidad de Buenos Aires, realiza investigaciones biológicas en el Instituto Alberto Taquíni de Medicina Traslacional. La Padula ha forjado una carrera tanto en la ciencia como en el arte, con obras expuestas en instituciones reconocidas como el Museo de Arte Moderno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires y el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Como profesor y curador, La Padula ha realizado contribuciones significativas en los ámbitos académicos y culturales, participando en proyectos educativos y emprendimientos curatoriales en Argentina. Su exploración de la relación entre ciencia y arte se extiende más allá de las obras visuales, ya que ha compartido su conocimiento en seminarios sobre arte, ciencia y naturaleza. Además, como miembro del Consejo


Cultural de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires y asesor académico en diversos contextos, ha desempeñado un papel fundamental en la promoción y el enriquecimiento del diálogo entre la ciencia y el arte. A medida que el vidrio se convierte en un lienzo para las exploraciones de La Padula, su obra trasciende fronteras y desafía percepciones arraigadas. En este diálogo entre disciplinas, el vidrio se erige no solo como un medio, sino como un lenguaje que conecta la rigurosidad de la ciencia con la expresión artística. A través de su obra, La Padula no solo nos invita a contemplar la belleza estética, sino también a reflexionar sobre la poesía inherente al pensamiento científico. Este encuentro entre ciencia, arte y vidrio, orquestado por La Padula, nos inspira a repensar las posibilidades creativas que emergen cuando los límites se desdibujan y los mundos convergen en una danza armoniosa. A través de nuestra conversación, queda claro que La Padula no solo emplea el vidrio como medio, sino que lo transforma en un vehículo simbólico para explorar la transparencia, fragilidad y resistencia, construyendo puentes entre mundos aparentemente dispares: la ciencia y el arte. Sus creaciones no solo son estéticamente cautivadoras, sino que también revelan la riqueza de la intersección entre estas disciplinas, desafiando percepciones y enriqueciendo nuestra comprensión del mundo que habitamos. Sobre María Eugenia Díaz de Vivar María E. Díaz de Vivar es una artista, investigadora, escritora y editora. Desde 2007 dirige la publicación Objetos con Vidrio, una plataforma en línea que difunde la obra de artistas contemporáneos y refleja la actividad del vidrio artístico. Fue miembro del Comité Ejecutivo para Sudamérica Sur, responsable de la organización local vinculada a los eventos correspondientes al Año Internacional del Vidrio 2022. Forma parte de la Junta Directiva de la ACAV (Asociación Catalana de las Artes del Vidrio).


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