Stephen Rolfe Powell’s Process

Fire & Motion Menu:

How do Stephen Rolfe Powell’s vibrantly colored and peculiar shaped creations emerge from a blob of molten glass? In this image-to-image sequence, follow Powell’s artistic process as he and his team bring a piece from his “Screamers” series to life. See images of Powell’s work at his web site.

1. Powell begins with several “gathers,” picking up layers of molten glass on a long metal tube with several firings in the furnace.

Stephen Powell

2. Bit by bit, he shapes the thickening glass on a flat metal table.

Stephen Powell shaping hot glass

3. Powell uses a wet copy of The Wall Street Journal to shape and smooth the glass.

Powell's shaping process

4. Once he has gathered enough glass, Powell heats up the shape once again and then rolls it across a preset arrangement of small, colored glass murrini.

Powell applying murrini

5. Using torches, the team carefully brings the desired shape to life.

Powell applying heat to work

6. In a choreographed set of movements, the group uses elevation to help bring out the desired shape during the final blowout. Finally, the finished piece emerges from the high-energy process.

Powell final blowout