Book-ness

book mold v.1

This is not a book.

It is some negative space that a book might fill. If the book were glass and not really a book.

I’ve spent the last several weeks learning to make this metal mold–learning how to cut and punch and weld steel, learning to anticipate how molten glass would flow into it, with the goal of forming an object that resembles a book and that gets me to think differently about what the essence of a book, as object, is.

When you build a thing that resembles an object that will be made of glass what you’re doing is a kind of translation. And just as all translation is much more than substituting one word for another, a glass object that resembles a book isn’t intended to replicate a book; it’s meant to be something else, something that references book-ness in a way that only glass, in its glass-ness, can.

I’m curious know what that is: that book-ness I’ll discover in the glass-ness of it.

Last Wednesday we made a first iteration, spraying graphite on the metal to keep the skin of the glass from sticking, then blowing the hot bubble into the mold, and pulling it out, releasing it into the air then the heat then the air and gently breaking the object off the pipe before putting it in an annealer for the night to cool down and rest. Tomorrow I get to see it again and discover how it survived and what it became after I put it to bed.

And hopefully I’ll get to make at least one more.

 

 

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