Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Exploring Glass with Grasshopper

One of the finished pieces, a vase.

McNeel & Associates take a field trip! One of our staff, Brian Gillespie, explored the world of Pilchuck Glass. Tara Broyhill and Brian joined the Pilchuck Glass School as artists in residence for two weeks. Neither person had worked in glass before. They were invited to come to the school to explore how generative design and digital fabrication can be used for art glass. In the process, they studied the texture and optics of hand-blown glass, along with the mathematics of a Voronoi diagram as computed in Grasshopper.

Initially, Brian and Tara set out to explore four-part molds as a way to make unique versions of optic and pineapple molds. They ended up making a couple variations of roll plates to add texture to their glass.

The Pilchuck Glass School is a woodland retreat, so the equipment they provided needed to be portable. They chose a Handibot as their CNC tool for their fabrication work. The Handibot was used to mill a roll plate to apply the texture to the glass.

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