The battlefield introduces unimaginable conflicts that bleed over into the lives of veterans. With art, the intangible burdens and scars that soldiers and veterans carry, can be made tangible. To instigate conversation and support. Glass is a material that can embody these intangible things. Glass is fragile, opalescent, or translucent—it can hold form, shatter, break, and be mended, formed, packed, and shaped. It is a material that transforms under high temperature and pressure, much like the environment of deployment and war.
I create relics from war history, to evoke the memory and feeling for individual soldiers. These relics are sculpted from the framework of a soldier’s life and recreated by me—to operate endemically and discover new memories based on impartiality and context. When trekking through Afghanistan during combat operations, American Saints wear boots like these that propel them towards the eminent threat of death. The Savage enemy infects the battlefield with Improvised Explosive Devises causing death, singular limb-loss, multiple limb-loss, or even mass casualties—to any of the Coalition Forces that tread on foreign grounds.
One day, I connected with an old pair of boots, reminding me of a time and place that I traveled through serving as an infantryman—finding new moments in combat that I might have lost or forgotten. After spending time handling and converting the original service boots into glass, the mental and physical consequences from deployments became even more apparent post service—helping me understand, heal and grow.
To finally be strong in understanding the mighty power of the Lord, is to have faith while lacing up your boots—knowing that before stepping foot onto any battlefield, you will be protected from evil’s masquerade. Without the belief in God’s will, who keeps you protected amid all the dark forces surrounding you. A soldier will take each step vigorously marching forward towards the conflict that remains, walking into deaths very own backyard—to infiltrate the unseen forces posing as a threat, liberate the innocent and help assist people infected by the radical assault of terrorism. Therefore, get dressed in your combat uniform and lace your boots, don your tactical kit, load your weapon and check your gear. When the time comes to stand your ground, the enemy will see your investment in the Lord.
Each day I walked across a Middle Eastern landscape; I felt a strong presence from the Lord. I understood that he was with me every step of the way. My faith remained strong and my prayers became soft, subtle, and quiet—as combat fearlessly kept approaching. “Father, thank you. I am free, and I have the mind of Christ, and that I have peace that passes understanding. For I am your soldier on the battlefield, working against the forces of evil. Thank you, that your mercy is bigger than any of my mistakes. I know, the blood of the lamb is more powerful than any snake that lays within the grass.” “Father, thank you. I know, you still are on the throne, and no weapon forged against me will prosper. Thank you, for having beauty within the ashes, and that there are good days ahead. I know, after all of this, that I’m not just going to come out, that I’m going to come out better than I was before, because I know, the forces that are working for me, are greater than the forces that are working against me.”
Mario Gallucci Photography - Images of my work
Saints & Savages
Original Works: $3800.00
Mixed Media: glass/steel
Army combat boots are used by the infantryman when traversing into unknown foreign conditions—thin layers of durable material protecting your skin. I decided to silicone mold my original combat boots and create wax models, replacing the boot material with a hollow glass form known as Pate de Verre; translated as “glass paste”, a distinctive Art Nouveau and Art Deco style technique first used by 17th century French glass artists. This method and material instigate fragility and eliminates the idea of protection.
In this piece, traditional lost wax casting techniques are used—creating a complex two-part plaster/silica mold—where glass powders and small shards are mixed with a Gum-Arabic binder, then deliberately packed into the mold and cast inside an electrical kiln (reaching temperatures of 1420 degrees). Packing glass against the mold can be challenging, depending on the shapes and contours of each object. Special tools are designed and used when installing glass inside the molds, to exactly mirror the surface and form while pressing against the plaster/silica.
As the complex surfaces are composed of many different colors of glass, I create sample tiles to research and discover the ideal color combination. Utilizing this research, I plan and execute a deliberate method of layering, packing, and firing. When the shards are pressed into the shallow mold profile, the resulting material is about ¼ inch thick.
Contact: Geoffrey Bowton
attn: purchase inquiries
direct commissions, glass studio art teacher
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