dropped calls

“Dropped Calls” by Steven Tippin

Each glass cell phone is made to scale and playfully documents various forms of this ubiquitous technology.

Lost Wax Method of Casting: To create these wonderfully detailed glass phones, Steven first created a rubber mold of the actual cell phone.  He then filled that mold with hot wax.  A new plastic silica mold was then created around the wax form.  The wax within the plastic mold was then steamed out and replaced with molten glass.

Steven introduced a time element into some of the pieces – graduations or notches appear in the glass from the various pours.  The bottoms of most of the pieces are polished, letting the light into the works and creating a flat bottom for the works to stand on.  Some of the works are distorted –the wax forms having been manipulated or combined before creating the final plastic mold.

Two of the glass phones were created using colour-change glass that changes based on whether the light is incandescent or florescent –filtering from orange to green.  To create the look of wires within two of the cell phones, Steven used a technique called millefiori, involving the production of long, thin glass canes or rods.

Numerous visitors have commented that the wonderfully detailed camera phone made of cast cement is like a fossil dug up from the future.

About the Artist

Steven Tippin recently received his Master of Fine Arts – Glass from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York.  He also holds a diploma from the Crafts & Design 3 Year Glass Program at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville, Ontario as well as an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Arts from the University of Guelph.

Steven has exhibited internationally and has received numerous awards.  Most recently, in 2010, he won two awards at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and was a finalist for a Niche Student Award.   His work is represented by galleries in Toronto and Montreal.  (Full Curriculum Vitae)

Steven recently created a studio in Toronto with fellow glass artists Aaron Oussoren, Rachael Wong and Sally McCubbin.  Within the studio there are also seven metal smiths/jewellers, a photographer and a curator.  He has also recently become a board member for the Glass Art Association of Canada (GAAC) as both Ontario Representative and part of the Promotions and Publication Team.

UPDATE: Steven is moving to Wellesley, Ontario (just west of Waterloo).   He is excited about his new house but he is more excited about setting up a new glass studio in the detached 700 sq foot workshop!  Good luck – I can’t wait to come for a visit!

Images: I hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at Steven in the workshop.  These images will give you a better sense of Steven’s current work comprised of murrini that he fuses together into thin panels in a kiln.  Murrine (plural: murrini) is an Italian term for colored patterns made in a glass cane (long rods of glass) that are revealed when cut in cross-sections.  Murrine are designed by layering different colors of molten glass around a core, then heating and stretching it into a rod. When cool, the rod is sliced into cross-sections of desired thickness with each slice possessing the same pattern in cross-section.

There are also images from a fun project with stolen glassware from the LUX Lounge in Rochester (a biker/voodoo/punk bar).  Here’s some background:

I noticed these glasses everywhere while in friends’ studios and homes. It seemed that everyone was stealing these glasses as souvenirs. I wanted to be the guy that returned them. I stole glasses from the bar and sandblasted imagery into their surface that fit with the voodoo theme of the bar. Skeletons on the toilet, having sex, blowing glass, lifting weights and celebrating birthdays are just a few examples of imagery. I then smuggled them back into the bar and anonymously left them on tables or the bar to let the staff find them. To this day, they still do not know who is stealing and returning them. I like the balancing act that LUX plays between ideas of possession, anonymity, property, art, vandalism and theft. It is an ongoing series that has drastically slowed down since I left the city but I will be returning more when I go back in May. I have probably returned 20 so far and have another fifteen at my house, waiting.

FUN FACT: The “Glory Hole” is a furnace used to reheat a piece of glass in between steps of working with it.

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