Last Updated: Jul 17, 2017     Views: 90

Porpoises, Frederick Calder, Corning, NY, 1930-1939. Gift of Corning Glass Works.

Are you using a mold? Are you using glass powder or frit? How are you using them? Are you using a binder? This will help me determine what category of technique that your work fits into. 

The term is interpreted various ways and there is a lot of debate whether ancient glass can be called "pate de verre" or "glass paste." Here is information from the CMoG "Dictionary on Glass": 

Pâte de verre


(French, “glass paste”) A material produced by grinding glass into a fine powder, adding a binder to create a paste, and adding a fluxing medium to facilitate melting. The paste is brushed or tamped into a mold, dried, and fused by firing. After annealing, the object is removed from the mold and finished.

Alternate Spellings
pate du verre
pate da verre
pate de vare

According to the dictionary, "paste" is NOT pate de verre. These terms and their French and Italian equivalents, pâte de verre and pasta vitrea, have been used since at least the 17th century to describe the composition of small objects such as medallions and imitations of precious stones. However, their use to describe such objects is incorrect (they were made with molten glass, sometimes with a high lead content), and they should be restricted to objects of pâte de verre, as described in the next entry. (copied above)

This video describes classic "pate de verre" and how it was done: "[Pate de verrre]... is another casting technique that—like glassblowing—only works with glass. Whereas glassblowing was invented around 50 B.C., pâte de verre is a process invented in France in the 19th century. It allows subtle gradations of color, possible with no other glassworking process." There are multiple CMoG videos that show the process, such as this video on the process and another video by Shin-Ichi and Kimiake Higuchi. A search of the Museum's glass collection can also show pieces identified as 'pate de verre' by our curators. 

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