Fragile: Glass-Dust Butterfly Displays

mori-10Michael Crowder has a unique way of creating art. He likes to take small particles of stuff like glass, sugar, ash, chocolate, etc. and stick them together to build stuff. The results are very delicate and fragile as you might expect. He must have some steady hands and nerves. I’ll bet he kills when playing Operation. Kills the other players, not the patient.

The butterflies are made in a method called pâte de verre, which translates to “paste of glass.” Itself a 19th century French creation, pâte de verre is at its simplest melting glass particles together. The variation on this technique that I have developed is to use very small particles of glass roughly the size of grains of sugar and to heat them to a precisely controlled point where I can melt and fuse the particles together, but still allow them to retain an open crystalline surface texture. The effect is almost impossibly delicate and fragile looking, as a butterfly wing should be.

I don’t think they would even allow me into on of these exhibits. You know those signs that say “Do Not Touch?” Those were put there for me. I’ve always been better with children’s museums where you are allowed to play with the displays.

Hit the jump for a bunch more.

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