About Pâte de Verre

Pâte de Verre is French for paste of glass. This term originated in France at the end of the 19th Century to describe a technique of glass discovered by Egyptians and possible influences from China and their purple and blue hard glazes. The Egyptian’s developed a sintered-quartz ceramic that was glazed by firing. Later they developed a harder more crystalline compound called Egyptian blue harder than it’s more porous faience counter part. While the true origin is unknown scientific laboratories are researching the influence the Egyptians used to make artifacts for the Pharaohs.

 

Archeologists from France came across Egyptian Blue and were intrigued by the glass and the iconic use of their research from the tombs of pharaohs. It peaked the interest of ceramists in the industry such as Henri Cros (b1840 – d1907). Cros had an interest in experimentation and his love of getting painterly effects lead his to a life of sculpting and glass making. During the Art Nouveau period glassing making for vessels and sculptures were being rediscovered and refined. All glass casting in a kiln was termed pâte de verre but in modern times it’s be redefined by methods of Hot Casting vs. Kiln Casting.

 

Modern pâte de verre uses methods of sintered (a tack fuse), high temperature firings to create different looks. From single to multi-part molds you can use plaster-silica, ceramic fiber, press molded, drip molded using sculpted models in wax or clay.

 

To get the polychrome colors various frits and powders are used with a glue binder (CMC, Gum Arabic, Aloe Vera). Glass colors employ various colorants, which can cause reactions. Glass manufacturers publish which color interacts with another color so you can use or avoid the reaction. Lots of glass secrecy fell away in modern times with the understanding for the chemistry of glass. It is my reason for teaching so this art form is not lost in history again and new artists push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Pâte de Verre is French for “paste of glass:. This term originated in France at the end of the 19th Century to describe a technique of glass discovered by Egyptians and possible influences from China and their purple and blue hard glazes. The Egyptian’s developed a sintered-quartz ceramic that was glazed by firing. Later they developed a harder more crystalline compound called Egyptian blue harder than it’s more porous faience counter part. While the true origin is unknown scientific laboratories are researching the influence the Egyptians used to make artifacts for the Pharaohs.

 

Archeologists from France came across Egyptian Blue and were intrigued by the glass and the iconic use of their research from the tombs of pharaohs. It peaked the interest of ceramists in the industry such as Henri Cros (b1840 – d1907). Cros had an interest in experimentation and his love of getting painterly effects lead him to a life of sculpting and glass making. During the Art Nouveau period glassing making for vessels and sculptures were being rediscovered and refined. All glass casting in a kiln was termed pâte de verre but in modern times it’s be redefined by methods of Hot Casting (ladle poured) vs. Kiln Casting.

 

Modern pâte de verre uses a sintered  method (a tack fuse), or high temperature firings to create different looks. From single to multi-part molds you can use plaster-silica, ceramic fiber, press molded, drip molded using sculpted models in wax or clay.

 

To get the polychrome colors various frits and powders are used with a glue binder (CMC, Gum Arabic, Aloe Vera). Glass colors employ various colorants, which can cause reactions. Glass manufacturers publish which color interacts with another color so you can use or avoid the reaction. Lots of glass secrecy fell away in modern times with the understanding for the chemistry of glass. It is my reason for teaching so this art form is not lost in history again and new artists push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Gabriel Argy-Rousseau (b1885 – 1953)

With an interest in drawing, physics and chemistry he first attended Ècole Breguet and in 1902 Ècole de Sèvres where he met the son of Henri Crois. After graduation he worked in a research laboratory for dental porcelain. In 1913 he married Marianne Argyriades. He was a sculptor, ceramicist and glass master working in glass pastes as well an his sculpture where he worked in molten crystal. He developed several patents during WWI intended to benefit the Ministry of Defense. He had a workshop that employed 20 workers but ran into economic hardship and had a business financer Moser-Millet. Strife existed due to Moser-Millet’s insistence on producing religious items. Moser-Millet closed the factory in 1931. Rousseau bought was he could from the liquidation and created work from 1934 to 1937. During World War II raw materials and fuel were difficult to obtained and he became deeply in debt. He worked until his death in 1953.

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Frederick Carder (b 1863 – 1963)

Carder_vase                 Carder_plaque

 

English artist and glassmaker.  In 1881 he helped re-introduce colored glass at Stevens & Williams.  He then emigrated to the United States where he with Thomas Hawkes co-founded the Steuben Glass Works, Corning New York.

Almeric Walter (1870 – 1959)

Almaric Walter  studied at the Sevres factory. He gets a prize at the Universal Exhibition of 1900. In 1905 he joined the Daum House where he worked with the help of Henri Bergé; he created over 100 models of glass pastes with bright colours in the Art Nouveau style. In 1919 He left the Daum House to found his own workshop in Nancy, France. Henri Bergé followed him there where 500 different models were produced with several designers. He left the Farm Shop in 1935 and Nancy in 1940 during the German occupations, returning in 1945.

Walter_camelianWalter_pine-vase-300x294Almeric WalterWalter_Berries-Jug

François-Emile Décorchemont (1880 – 1971)

Décorchemont came from a family of artists, his father was a sculptor. He worked as a master ceramic and glass artist.

He developed using lead crystal pastes of glass rather than traditional soda lime glass. He is the grandfather of Antoine and Ètienne Leperlier who carried on the family tradition of working with pâte de verre.

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Georges Despret (b1862-1952)

Georges Despret (b 1862- d 1952) was trained from childhood by his uncle Hector Despret; trained to be his successor in the manufacturing of ice who then managed a Special School of Mines and Arts and Manufactures of Liège. George Despret took responsibilities in various fields of industry and finance but his works and bombing during the two world wars destroyed technical and iconographic archives.

‘Cleo de Merode (blonde)’ (c) Royal Museums of Fine Arts of BelguiumMask in Pate de Verre of Cleo de Merode by Georges Despret | Collection Gillion Crowet / foto : Bruno Piazza | JV

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Mask of Cleo de Merode (bruin)  Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

DRR6G9 Mask of Cleo de Merode by George Despret 1862-1952  Belgian Belgium
DRR6G9 Mask of Cleo de Merode by George Despret 1862-1952 Belgian Belgium

 

Albert-Louis Dammouse (b 1840-1907)

Albert-Louis Dammouse (1848-1926)  Ceramics designer, son of a sculptor for Sèvres and factories in Limoges. In the 1900 he displayed glass paste Coupe at the Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) in Paris. The Iris vase with its scalloped edges is one of his iconic pieces.  The info of the name of the vase is in error as the vase is similar to the Anemone.

Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Stéphane Maréchalle

 

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Henri Cros (b 1840 – d1907)

Pastorale-by-Henri-Cros-copy1 Instrumental to the resurgence of Pâte de Verre Henri Cros worked in polychrome wax, ceramics and Pâte de Verre.From lesartsdecoratifs.fr VaseLOUVRE OA 6744 © Les Arts Décoratifs / photo : Jean TholancePastoraleHenry Cros (1840-1907) France, vers 1895-1900 Pâte de verre moulée, polychrome, décor en léger relief Dépôt Musée du Louvre, 1919 Inv.