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The Kid Should See This

Glassblowing digitally recorded sound waves with Jahday Ford

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Glass artist Jahday Ford explores the mix of traditional glassblowing with digital tools through his work in hot glass and mold design. From this, he creates “forms and textures not possible by traditional hand-made techniques.” The Manchester School of Art grad’s modern approach to glassblowing is featured in this edit of a Manchester Craft And Design Centre video by Johan J Reitan. It’s set to the 2020 Remaster of Mr. P.C. by the great John Coltrane.

The featured glass piece is shaped from digitally recorded sound waves of Ford’s breath. Forming the shape requires him to push his breath into the hot glass, expanding it into a bubble or parison that presses to the walls of the mold. Glassblowing is intensely physical—from lifting and constantly turning the molten blob to working in the heat—but the latter is a particularly exhausting part of the craft.

Jahday Ford
breathe glass sculpture
More about Ford and his ‘Breathe’ digital project partner Joe Hillary from the Royal Gazette:

“…the pair broke from handblowing convention to create digitally manipulated glass sculptures…

“Why not provide a different way to look at glass, something that stands up figuratively or concept-wise?”

The friends merged digital design with traditional techniques to create the series of rippled sculptures. Mr Hillary recorded his friend breathing through the glass-blowing iron itself, before turning the sound waves into wooden moulds for Mr Ford to blow hot glass through.

The results are striking, orchestrated yet organic.”

Watch more videos about glassblowing and sound waves on TKSST, including:
• How to make a turquoise goblet
Odyssey of the Ear, an animated tale of sound
Sound is a vibration, a demonstration
• Glas, Bert Haanstra‘s Oscar-winning documentary short film (1959)

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