Pâte de verre

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Pâte de verre ( German  glass paste ) is a technique used in the production of multi-colored glass and one of the basic variants of the process known as fusing in modern German . A cold-formed paste of glass powder and dyes is filled into a refractory mold and then fired in a muffle furnace , whereby the glass melts into the desired shape. To achieve polychrome color effects , the process is repeated with other colors.


The technique was already known in ancient Rome and Egypt. Especially in the Art Nouveau period and later in the Art Deco period , it found renewed artistic use in works by French glass artists such as Gabriel Argy-Rousseau , Henry Cros , Albert Dammouse , François Décorchemont , Amalric Walter , Émile Gallé and George Despret . The crystal works of thumb , a French manufacturer of commercial glassware, produced numerous works from pâte de verre . Frederick Carder used the material to manufacture pieces of glass for the American company Steuben Glass Works .


First, finely crushed glass is mixed with a binding agent such as gum arabic , water and with dyes or enamels . The resulting paste is put into a fire-proof mold with a brush or other suitable tool and first fills the areas that are supposed to stand out in relief , and is then fired. After that, the background with different colors is applied to a thickness of several millimeters and the center of the mold is filled to prevent the paste from sagging. Argy-Rousseau filled the center with asbestos powder . The filled mold is fired again at around 800 ° Celsius to fuse the glass pastes into one piece. After cooling, the mold is removed, either pulling apart its individual parts or carefully destroying the mold. The glass can then be polished, engraved or decorated.

The production of pâte de verre is a slow process that requires a great deal of manual skill to avoid bubbles , cloudiness and cracks during the cooling process. The technology enables precisely fitting shapes and accurate color gradations in the workpiece, which are not possible with any other glass processing method.


See also


  • Victor Arwas The Art of Glass. Art Nouveau to Art Deco. Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery, Papadakis Publisher, London 1996, ISBN 978-1-90109-200-4 , pp. 54f.
  • Keith Cummings: Contemporary kiln-formed glass; a world survey. A&C Black, London 2009; University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia 2009, pp. 16-23, 11-132.
  • Susanne K. Frantz: Particle Theories. International Pâte de Verre and Other Cast Glass Granulations. Museum of American Glass, Wheaton Village 2005, ISBN 978-0-97421-073-5 , pp. 23f.
  • Lucartha Kohler: Glass. To artist's medium. Kraus Publications, Iola 1998, pp. 60, 66-75.
  • Boyce Lundstrom: Glass Casting and Moldmaking. Pâte de Verre, Lost Wax. Vitreous Group, Camp Colton 1989, pp. 1-18.
  • Edith Mannoni: Les Pâte de Verre. Autour de Daum et Gallé . Editions Charles Massin, Paris 1996, ISBN 2-7072-0126-X , 94 pp.

Web links

Commons : Pâte de verre  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ann Frellsen: Pâte de verre Process. Rochester Institute of Technology , thesis, June 29, 1987, p. 44.