Makers Marks: Design Story

The sounds of traditional making processes in artist and designer studios are not easily accessible by the general public as they are unique to the material practices of the studios.  The sounds of the making are elusive as well, due to the specialized environments, processes, and tools. Often, they are heard only by the makers themselves and are never available to the public. Some are genuinely unique sounds. One of the most exclusive and ancient making processes which produces unique sounds is that of glassblowing.  As a material, glass has played host to a variety of functions and innovation over the centuries but only recently in the past few decades has been used regularly as a studio medium within artistic practices. From its ancient use in function ware and decoration, to its architectural use as windows, to modern digital screens and fiber optics, glass has been at the forefront of innovation. But the making process has not significantly changed in centuries…glassblowers still use pipes and traditionally-made tools to work the hot glass. The hotshop and cold-working studios of the Edinburgh College of Art glass department were the targets for capturing the sounds for this project. Our recording engineer brought his kit into the workshops and we navigated around the artists to collect the sounds using a variety of microphones and field recorders.

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Small Selection of Isolated Glassmaking Sounds

Paper_Hot Glass_Long - Makers Marks
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Paper_Hot Glass_Crackling - Makers Marks
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Paper_Hot Glas_Close - Makers Marks
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Hot Glass_Water 1 - Makers Marks
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Our team of composers and audio engineers isolated the making sounds from the studio environment in the field recordings and then developed and transformed these source sounds into working virtual instruments. We then used these source sounds and transformed sounds to create "Sounding Glass", "Glass in Translation", "Makers Suite", and "Feedback Loops".

© 2015-2021 by Lisa L. Naas

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