We’ve been taught to believe that bigger is better. When presented with a draping mold, I always made full use of it. A mold that stands 7″ high should produce a vase that also stands 7″ high. But of course! In fact, I’ve been apologetic that I couldn’t produce larger, more glorious vases due to the size of my kiln.
Imagine my surprise when I got an inquiry about miniature bud vases. What exactly did they want? A tall but narrow vase? A short vase? And more importantly, what could I actually make? I had never considered my options.
Let’s start with the draping molds or so-called floral drapers I had access to.
On the right is a mold which stands 7″ tall with a top (the final vase base) that is 2.5″ in diameter. On the left, is a stainless steel pillar also 7″ tall but with a narrower 1″ diameter. Both have been coated with boron nitride (MR-97) which is a glass mold release and makes the shiny stainless look white.
All my previous vases started with a 12″ sheet of glass that would drape around the mold at elevated temperatures and produce a 7″ tall vase. (See my previous post https://geekgirlglass.com/2013/10/19/feeling-the-heat-temperature-dependence-of-draping-vases/) . My obvious first attempt to shrink a vase was to repeat the process but starting with a 8.75″ sheet of glass with rounded edges. The result was a funky, short fat vase that stood 5″ tall.
How about using the 1″ diameter floral draper? I went with a 6″ square of rose colored transparent glass. (Yes, I kept decreasing my starting glass size). That ended up with a 4″ vase with a small 1″ base and rosy’ flames’ creating the sides.
Next attempt used a 7″ circle draped over the 2.5″ form. I played with blue frit on the border and confetti glass pieces to create a tribute to Mondrian. This ended up more like a bowl than a vase. Total height = 2″.
Fourth variation really pushed the limits. Only a 4.5″ circle of glass was draped over the 1″ form. This resulted in a truly petite 2″ tall vase. Perhaps this is only good for holding a few Jelly-Bellies?
Here is the final line-up of vase variations.
As you can see, I have a much broader range of vase options than I thought. I had a blast pushing the limits of down-sizing with this project. In the end, I must agree with Mies Van der Rohe. Yes, ‘less is more.’