March 8 to August 27, 2023
See available works
Off-site exhibition at the Villa Bagatelle (1563 James-LeMoine Avenue, Quebec City)
Curator : Geneviève Duval
Marie Pierre Daigle
Montserrat Duran Muntadas
The second edition of the exhibition Light on Glass, organized by La Guilde, presents the work of seventeen artists who dedicate their artistic practice to the medium of glass. These artists ground their work in in-depth research and exploration of the medium while experimenting with other materials. Do we really know the complexity of this omnipresent medium in our lives? The exhibition introduces various techniques and treatments in glass, allowing for a more profound exploration of the medium and its many facets.
This exhibition underlines the importance of the dialogue between light and the medium of glass and the depth of technical knowledge possessed by glass artists. Both fragile and strong, flexible and solid, translucent and opaque, glass offers many possibilities. The light beams captured and emitted by glass intensify the colours and textures of the work, making it shine and shimmer. They make the work appear lightweight, profound, and sometimes even solid, bringing out its opacity. It creates shadows where darkness and light combine. In this exhibition, La Guilde features a selection of works that reflect a wide range of techniques and a beautiful variety of forms.
The travelling exhibition Light on Glass was first presented at La Guilde (Montreal, QC) in 2020. This second edition at the Villa Bagatelle is an opportunity to feature more significant works and promote the incredible work of our artists in Quebec City. This project allows La Guilde to continue its mandate to present and promote the work of established artists in conversation with emerging artists.
Learn more about glass
Glass is both fragile and strong and has an inherent duality. This hard, brittle and transparent manufactured substance is formed from silica (sand). Sand must be melted at 1700 degrees Celsius to turn into glass. When molten, glass becomes ductile, allowing it to deform plastically without breaking. To carry out their research while taking into account all the possibilities of glass, the artists use several techniques:
Glassblowing: Blown glass is most used by La Guilde's artists. In this technique, the artist blows through a blowpipe to inflate a mass of molten glass. It requires two people, one who blows and another who handles the molten glass. When the object reaches the desired shape and size, the glass is attached to the cane and detached from the rod with a sharp movement.
Flameworking: This technique begins with tubes or rods of borosilicate glass or silica glass, which the artist heats with a scorching flame and shapes with various tools (pliers, knives, etc.) to the desired shape.
Lost wax casting: The artist applies a fine powder (paste)—composed of finely ground glass, a bonding agent, and pigments—to the inner surface of a mould before firing. This technique gives a distinctive sheen, allows the colours to be carefully applied in the mould, and creates a hollow object with thick or thin walls depending on the thickness of the layers used.
"Pâte de verre": The artist applies a fine powder (paste)—composed of finely ground glass, a bonding agent, and pigments—to the inner surface of a mould before firing. This technique gives a distinctive sheen, allows the colours to be carefully applied in the mould, and creates a hollow object with thick or thin walls depending on the thickness of the layers used.
Cold working: It is a common term for various techniques used to modify or decorate glass after the cooling process is complete. Cold working techniques include cutting, engraving, polishing, sandblasting, and using various tools.
Pulled glass: Pulled glass is a technique similar to the making of taffy, used to carve glass. The glass gob at the end of the cane is pulled and twisted using pliers.