Tuesday, February 27, 2018

How it's Made: Handcrafted Glacial Glass Jewelry

Roues Glass Threader Earrings  / Glass Hoop Earrings - Yellow/Green
Glacial Glass Circle Earrings - Moss / Glacial Glass Threader Earrings - Steel Blue

We know you crave substance with your style, and we're here to help. Welcome to the West Coast, land of luminous light, where good things come in pairs (of earrings). Today we are in the Los Angeles, California, studio of designer Jess Panza to learn more about the artistry, philosophy, and technology involved in creating her delicate glass jewelry designs. You're in for some inspiration and education in this edition of "How it's Made."

Jess Panza's ethereal earrings are inspired by the interconnections between all things. Her pieces are first conceived on the basis of this philosophy, and then fabricated in her studio.  Consistent with the designer's beliefs, the process is always environmentally friendly, using traditional lampworking techniques. Glass and gold meet in an elegant material melange.

First, colorful glass rods are heated and melted onto findings of 14k gold. The glass-to-gold bond is a perfect pairing where atoms fuse on a molecular level with unparalleled ease. This bonding creates energy, which creates matter. The accessories that result from this process may look simple, but they represent universal generative processes and the cyclical nature of life.

Exemplifying the aesthetic approach "less is more," these delicate droplets suspended on gold are an elegant breath of fresh air.  However, as we've learned today, they are not as straightforward as they might appear; in fact containing multitudes. Everything is interconnected in ways we cannot always see, and some things were simply meant to be. 

Wear any of our Glacial Glass Earrings and embody this philosophy wherever you are. 


To view our entire collection of unique gifts, visit the Museum Shop online: https://www.artinstituteshop.org

Proceeds from all purchases support the Art Institute of Chicago's many programs.

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