Material exploration



To create simple indoor plant holders for the purpose of a material, techniques and processes exploration on glass and concrete.

mood board

frosted texture

organic forms

smooth surface transitions

clean and minimal

colour, material and finish

material limitations

Since glass is a such a unique material, there were limitations I had to consider with the shape and form before conceptualizing. This limitation made me think about this project more methodically. I was restricted with creating glass pieces that had less sharp edges and geometric forms. Other things I had to consider with the glass design was size, weight and the malleability period during the forming stage.


During this phase, I knew that I was interested in creating the glass portion as a platform for plants. I was drawn towards making some type of terrarium or planter for an indoor environment. However, executing the idea with only glass seemed unfinished to me. Next, I ideated glass forms combined with another material for the base. I found the juxtaposition between transparent glass and rough concrete charming. The direction I focused on the most throughout the project was the anthropomorphic form concept. I liked how adding human traits to an inanimate object can affect how users emotionally perceive it.

Glass Blowing & Forming Process 

Here's the basic run down, step by step, to give you a better understanding of exactly how I've made use of this delicate material.





Blowing & Forming




Working with glass

I began my project with creating the glass forms first. Throughout my time in the hot shop, I learned that it takes lot of practice to finesse a simple shape. The majority of my time in the hotshop was dedicated to repeating the blowing and forming techniques. I allowed myself to try new techniques, make mistakes and fail miserabley. The remaining hotshop time was for creating as many glass pieces with a technique that I'm comfortable with and I know works. It was important that I kept my expectations reasonable for how the glass turned out. It's unlikely for beginners to create pieces that identically replicate their sketch concepts.  Other techniques I applied to the annealed glass pieces were taken place in the cold shop. This was where I had control over cutting, finishing, polishing and sand blasting for a frosted effect.

Working with concrete

The concrete bases were made to cater and compliment the glass. I made various styles of planters during my exploration. I decided that I wanted to practice simple shape combinations with smaller planters. After learning that concrete adheres to glass after curing, it made the process a lot faster to execute. My favourite thing about the material was that I didn't have to worry about imperfections. - The rough and porous finish complimented the sleek glass forms.

Working with silicone

In preparation for creating a human bust mould, I needed to find something to cast with. I selected a model size that would pair well with the glass pieces I made earlier. I needed to decapitate the model so then it would allow me to cast from the neck down. The neck area would be where the glass piece is fastened. After preparing the bust, I put up walls around to create an enclosure for the shell. The final step was to pour the silicone mixture and wait for it to fully cure.


Monika Danh  © 2020