Design, Playtime

Casting Part II – Pele’s face

That particular day we set to make 5 pieces:

** A Sun’s face, a Bali mask ( documented on Casting Part I)      * a Pele’s face (documented on this blog)    * a Buddah’s face AND an art piece called “The Enlighten Contemplation” ( documented on Casting Part III)  .

Before I share the process that went on in the glass studio though, I think is important to reveal what happened before we even got to the actual “Glass” process.
It all started out by “making/sculpting” Pele’s face out of clay from a picture. It was a long yet very fun process and it involved many people. The muse, the model, the mentor, the journalist, the glass blowing team and myself.

First, I needed to have a sample face of a native hawaiian woman. My daughter’s hawaiian teacher, Hualani, had the perfect features of Pele’s and she was open to being the model. I went to her house and took a few photographs of her and that set the beginning if this process.

The Model

The modelresized

The Muse – Madame Pele

Comp Original Resized

The Mentor – John Mydock

My heartfelt appreciation goes to my neighbor, friend and amazing artist John Mydock, who fully supported me on this journey. He contributed to the process by demonstrating the foundational techniques to creating a three dimensional face out of a foam core, and then generously providing me with the clay and materials to make this particular piece come to life.


The Clay Sculpting.

This mold served as the inspiration and bedrock for 2 sculptures of Madame Pele.  On this particular blog, the process of the 2nd sculpture is documented. The first sculpture I made at Pilchuck School can be seen here.


The Casting at the Glass studio


When we created the casting of the face of Pele, the process itself was so beautiful, as though the crater of the volcano was filling with lava.  The edges of the caldera were black and burnt, and from this crater, the face and likeness of Pele was born of glass.


Pele’s face emerging from the fire, the magma, the heat, the ashes. She looked so peaceful yet assured and confident. After such an incredible journey, we were all in awe at the beauty of her face.


Pele’s face after cooling down