Experiments in glass and new technologies

Work in progress – investigating the creative use of new digital technologies and electronics in glass artworks

She’s got the wrong end …

Work in Progress – Glass and embedded circuits

Continuing to explore the use of copper electroforming, this time with lampworked glass sticks for a project “She’s got the wrong end …”, about the experience of living with deafness. These will become capacitive sensors for an audio installation.

Testing audio trigger

R & D using microbit, mp3 module and vibration speaker with crafted glass cap sensor


Another method of creating reactions with glass, this time chemical ones, playing with the material’s refractive, reflective and shadow-making effects. The cyanotype process, an early photographic technique originally introduced in 1842 by astronomer John Herschel, uses paper coated with ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide exposed to the sun or UV lamp. It is enabling me to expand the visual narratives for “She’s got the wrong end …” using glass and copper artefacts created for the project with other found objects related to the theme.


Jeopardy, (fused, water jet cut and cast glass, animation, rock, raspberry pi microcomputer) is about human vulnerability, which responds to live seismic data.  Small tremors trigger animation of fleeing birds, a major earthquake would release the rock onto the glass house and inhabitants.

Testting the raspberry pi triggering the release of the flint

Stateless Vessel

Stateless Vessel, (blown, cut and cast glass, arduino microcontroller, neopixel strip, mixed media)  refers to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and the grounding of NGO Search and Rescue boats. Shadows are animated to give the illusion of the boat moving in endless circles.

The Glass Electric

In 2018 I took part in The Glass Electric class at Pilchuck Glass School (Led by Dr Tommy Dylan -Northumbria University and Dr Mark Hursty-University of North Carolina, Ashville). As glass artists we explored how we might integrate digital materials, circuits and sensors directly into our glass practice. We investigated the use of different metals, introduced to glass through electroforming, kilnforming and glass blowing, to create sensors which triggered video, audio or physical interactions using motors or colour changes using smart pigments.

Prototype intteractive artwork responding to viewer’s position using IR sensors

Embedded circuits and capacitive sensing

Two decades have seen the development of digitally enhanced crafts and smart materials, with applications in e-textiles, wearables and interactive jewellery. Over a series of Craft Futures workshops, I have taken part alongside staff and researchers from Northumbria and Sunderland Universities in experimenting with embedding conductive traces in glass to create crafted interfaces and digital interactions for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Circuit traces using compatible materials such as copper, graphite and conductive inks were crafted in glass using blowing, water jet cutting, sand etching, fusing and casting.  Arduino, Particle Proton or Microbit microcontrollers were used to connect the glass artefacts to trigger physical interactions and screen-based media.

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