These photos show the making of the cardboard model for Into the Net, a piece made for the Doodle Project, conceived by Allister Malcolm.
He asked local and national celebrities to do a doodle - and then gave glass artists the doodles to interpret in glass. These pieces were then auctioned, to raise money for the British Glass Foundation.
My doodle was by Steve Bull - a hugely successful striker for Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. His doodle included a football - with the traditional geometric construction.
This cardboard model - and so the final cast glass - uses the 'net' of shapes (pentagons and hexagons) which would be needed to stitch together a traditional football, in the old-fashioned black and white colours.
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To make a cast, you first need a model - the 'original' - from which you take a mould. When I talk to people about casting, the most obvious modelling materials which seem to come to mind are clay or wax. I certainly use both, but my go-to materials are paper and card.
My initial glass casting experience actually started in the print room at University, where I was working with collagraphs. Collagraphs use a printing plate built up (collaged) from cardboard, paper and other bits and pieces (string, fabric, cotton wool). They are, essentially, very low relief sculptures, which are varnished so they can take ink and be run through the printing press.
After reading a brilliant second-hand book on printmaking (Etching, by Leonard Edmondson), I starting taking plaster casts from my inked-up collagraph plates. Around the same time, my glass tutor in the craft department was teaching us basic mould making. So the two strands of work came together: my collagraph plates switched departments, and were used to make my first moulds and pieces of cast glass.
In essence, this is exactly the same process I'm still using now. I call it 'Collaglass'. It is cast glass made from an original collage of cardboard (and occasionally a few other things). Without the restrictions of the printing press, my collaged plates can now have much deeper relief - but I still see them as printing plates, leaving their crisp impression in a block of glass.