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ICICLES

I come from upstate New York and I live for snow and ice. I've been making my own magical winter wonderland for years now.
 
I studied hot glass at Edinburgh College of Art but I traveled the world to learn flameworking. For years I spent my holidays in Lauscha, Germany studying this glass making technique with an older generation of master glass blowers who are sadly no longer with us and I count my blessings to have has this opportunity.

All the icicles are based on antique ornaments from Lauscha, the home of flameworking and the place that F. W. Woolworth went to first bring Christmas ornaments to the United States in the mid-1800s. They are packaged with their history on the box. Each one is one of a kind.

Le Sirenuse video filmed by Rob Page, sound Alistair MacDonald. Ausklingen (Fade Away) film and sound by Carrie Fertig

The icicles are made from hollow borosilicate glass tubing. The length, diameter, and the volume of air captured inside each one, affects their pitch. The longer, wider, and more air inside, the lower the pitch.

 

I have used them as a musical instrument in some of my performance work and you can listen to their amazing sound here:

In this recording, you are listening to them smash together. They're glass, so how is this possible without breaking?

I use only borosilicate glass which is made for science to withstand shock, stress, pressure, extremes of temperature, gas, acid, and 1st year chemistry students.

After forming them in the fire, each icicle is then annealed, that is put in a kiln, brought up to temperature, held at that temperature, and brought down to room temperature. This eliminates the stress from the glass. The icicles are then capable of being used as a musical instrument. My icicles are not unbreakable, but they are shockingly tough. Not your grandmother's icicles at all, but definitely inspired by them.

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ICICLES & RECYCLING

I love winter best and emulating the beauty of this season is a life long obsession. Each icicle is handmade in the flame and they range from tiny earrings to over a meter long. 

 

The icicles make beautiful sounds and I have recycled and repurposed them for many artworks. Most recently the icicles from Ausklingen (Fade Away) my solo installation in the Veste Coburg, the castle Prince Albert is from in Coburg, Germany have become an immersive experience of a tango palace in virtual reality. 

Ausklingen (Fade Away) Image-the artist
Ausklingen (Fade Away) Image-the artist

Sound installation of thousands of hollow glass icicles in the Veste Coburg, the castle Prince Albert is from in Coburg, Germany

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photo Rob Page
photo Rob Page

Glass icicles as a musical instrument in the film Le Sirenuse

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Icicle ornaments for your tree and home. Image: Shannon Tofts
Icicle ornaments for your tree and home. Image: Shannon Tofts

These are the smallest of the icicle ornaments I make. The much larger ones have a deeper musical tone and these small ones a more tinkling sound.

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Ausklingen (Fade Away) Image-the artist
Ausklingen (Fade Away) Image-the artist

Sound installation of thousands of hollow glass icicles in the Veste Coburg, the castle Prince Albert is from in Coburg, Germany

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