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Process

Material and process are a thread that connects the past to the present.

Benny Hill demonstrates how the Ceramic Cup is made using digital tools and traditional casting processes. The mask in the video represents the "hand-made" becoming the "robotic-made", which prompts the question: "What is hand-made?" 

Jimbo Graham demonstrates how the Jimbo Cup is made at Firehouse Glass in Vancouver, WA. After gathering hot glass on the end of a pipe, a bubble is formed, then blown into a cherry wood mold. Blowing glass into molds has been a glassblowing technique for thousands of years.

Below you can see the cherry wood molds with their coinciding forms. The cherry wood is soaked in water before the hot glass bubble is blown into the mold. A small layer of steam, and the hardened carbonized wood prevent the mold from burning out the form and catching on fire. Jimbo Cups uses these molds for making small batch sets and experimenting with new designs. 

cherry wood mold

These are examples of bronze blow-molds that were made by CNC-machining wax and then going through the traditional lost-wax casting process to make them into bronze. Under the right care and conditions these molds can have glass blown into them for a lifetime. The machine-making of the bronze mold not only demonstrates that technology can impact craft, but more importantly that craft pushes technology, making it more industrious and relevant.