• A History of Glassforming

      Cummings, Keith (London: A & C Black, 2002)
      Cummings asks in what ways do the final forms of glass artefacts and products relate to the specific nature of glass and the methods invented over its history to shape it? The research involved an examination of the conventional taxonomic approaches in written accounts of glass artefacts; with the intent to expose the presumptions and gaps that prevent a fuller understanding of the material history. The work moves to expose the forces involved in the evolution of glass as a series of individual and collective creative decisions. The author examined the relationships between the unique material properties of glass, and the methods and processes used to shape it; with specific focus upon technology, tools, and equipment. The focus is upon the fact that glass becomes more and less liquid in relationship to temperature, furthermore glass acts as a universal solvent allowing artists to experiment with a range of materials that affect colour, transparency, opacity and the relationship between surface and body
    • Glassmaking and the Evolution of the Craft Process

      Cummings, Keith (A & C Black, 2002)
      Cummings was interested in documenting the development and evolution away from the industrial separation of design and practice. Where artists and designer in glass once exclusively planned the work and artisans made the work; the contemporary glass artist is an integrated artist/maker. This is an essential period in the evolution of contemporary craft attitudes and creativity, with special reference to individual methods and outcomes as evidenced in a variety of written sources, personal contacts and interviews. Working from an examination of the literature and personal contacts with fellow practitioners, Cummings develops the history of the evolution of the modern glass artist. Arguing that it was the process of learning the artisans’ technique and methodology that led the contemporary glass artist into the evolutionary process, whereby design ideas were worked out with an intimate knowledge of the materials and processes of making. The work builds on Cummings 45 year engagement with this area of practice, and his ongoing original research which embraces texts, images, illustrations and personal interviews with experts and pioneers in the field.