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Glass Berries in Tart Shell Sculpture Grouping

Glass Berries in Tart Shell Sculpture Grouping

These are heirloom quality glass sculptures that will be treasured by your family for generations. The lead crystal tart shell looks like a real pie crust. It makes an ideal display dish for the included life sized glass fruit sculpture collection. They all look so real you'll have to touch them to be sure, and you must keep them away from children to prevent them from being eaten by accident.

The grouping in this picture includes all of the following glass sculptures:
1 glass pie shell;
1 glass strawberry;
3 red glass cherries;
3 yellow glass cherries;
3 green glass gooseberries;
3 glass blackberries;
3 red glass raspberries;
7 ripe glass blueberries; and
1 unripe glass blueberry.
All the pieces are separate so you may rearrange them in the pie shell or remove them as you like.

This glass pie shell is 5 inches (about 13cm) in diameter including the scalloped edges, and about 3/4 inch (19mm) high. The opening is about 4" (10cm) wide at the top. It is darker around the upper edges and paler on the bottom, where the heat would not have browned it as much. It is signed and dated on the bottom. All the other berries are life-sized, as you would expect to find them in a grocery store. Almost nothing in nature is perfectly round, smooth or even, so I deliberately avoid making my glass sculptures too perfect. Your pie shell may include imperfections such as a "mended" spot on the bottom where the pie dough tore when placed in the tart pan, or a "scorched" spot along one edge. The berries may be slightly lopsided or have spots or other imperfections just as you might find in nature. This makes each piece unique and makes them look much more real.

I make each of these glass pie shells one at a time via the Pate de Verre method using lead crystal. I spend many hours in carefully perfecting the surface of each mold and placing in the colored lead crystal powders. I fire the mold to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit to cast the powder into a single, solid piece of glass. After the glass cools, I spend many more hours cleaning away the mold material, smoothing the edges and polishing all of the surfaces.

The glass fruits are each made one at a time using the lampwork process. This means that I melt colored glass rods in the flame of the torch, shaping them with gravity, surface tension and simple tools. Since no molds are used in this process, every berry is different. Where the berries have stems, the stem is made from solid copper wire embedded into the glass. I achieve the realistic colors by mixing pre-made colors together, by selective heating and cooling of the glass, or by melting glass powder into the surface of the berry. No paint is used, so the color will never fade or flake off.

Image by Elizabeth Johnson, April 6, 2012

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