Taking inspiration from macro and microscopic designs, Joseph Enszo utilizes traditional Italian techniques, redesigned to emphasize the natural properties of glass under various physical forces. Enszo’s aesthetic is a unique intersection of three components: Italian decorativeness, Eastern simplicity, and a reference to natural science.
The process begins with thousands of individual handmade murrini, which are laid out and fused into flat compositions, which in turn are cut on a water-cooled diamond saw, ground, and smoothed with a wet belt sander, and sometimes sandblasted. Finally the piece goes back to the kiln for slumping, fire-polishing, and annealing. This time consuming process is also informed by Enszo’s rigorous experimentation with the medium. He says of the process:
“A single Nido Bowl requires up to 5 different computer controlled firings with multiple (up to 7) ramp segments in each firing. Each ramp segment includes a speed of change, a target temperature, and a hold time at that temperature. If a single segment changes by 5 degrees or 5 minutes, it often makes a measurable difference in the result. I use the scientific process, “systematic observation, measurement, and experiment,” to find, accentuate, and repeat forms and effects in the material. Here (above) is an image of the record keeping detritus of months of experiments to better understand the combined effects of viscosity, size and thickness, temperatures, time, levelness, and gravity. Even the direction of the source of radiant heat in the kiln makes a significant difference!
When it comes to colors, I’ve always found it compelling to pick 2 to 3 colors, then put them through some kind of consistently controlled process that paradoxically removes control over the final composition. Every time I see the results from a new color combination the simple joy of discovery is immediate.”
Click here to see all the available Nido Bowls by Joseph Enszo.