Palau To Turn Recycled Glass Into Unique Artworks

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Japanese glass maker teaching art of glass making

By Peter Erick L. Magbanua

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, May 18, 2015) – As Palau aims to be a leader in the protection of the environment in the region, it has again broke into the pages of history as aside from recycling materials, Koror State Government has found a new way of recycling used bottles into intricate pieces of art glass.

In it recycling center, Koror State Government managed to get the services of a 29 year old Japanese glass maker Tsubouchi Bunta. Bunta will be here in Palau for eight months and will be teaching locals on the art of glass making. There are over 40 students who have enrolled in the said program and the program has also taught some of the employees of the recycling center.

"The teacher taught us on how to teach glass making to the public so that once he will leave, we will be able to continue the program. This is another way of helping Palauans earn as they learn the art of glass making they will be able to inject their own ideas and the finish products they could sell to tourists as well or to the community," said one of the employees at the center.

They said that right now there are sticking to one brand of used bottle and from there they try to create art glass. They also said that the method they are using is glassblowing. By Wikipedia search, glassblowing is one of the most used technique for creating "art glass" and is still favored by most of today's studio glass artists. This is because of the artist's intimacy with the material, and an almost infinite opportunity for creativity and variation at almost every stage of the process.

Glassblowing can be used to create a multitude of shapes and can incorporate color through a wide range of techniques. Colored glass can be gathered out of a crucible, clear glass can be rolled in powdered colored glass to coat the outside of a bubble, it can be rolled in chips of glass, it can be stretched into rods and incorporated through caneworking, or it can be layered, cut and fused into tiles, and incorporated into a bubble of glass for intricate patterns through murrine.

"Blown glass" refers only to individually hand-made items but can include the use of moulds for shaping, ribbing, and spiking to produce decorative bubbles. Glass blown articles must be made of compatible glass or the stress in the piece will cause a failure.

Art glass is an item that is made, usually for decoration but also for purpose, from glass that has been worked into a form that is considered pleasing to the eye. Such techniques include stained glass windows, leaded lights, glass that has been placed into a kiln so that it will mould into a shape, glassblowing, sandblasted glass, and copper-foil glasswork. Art glass has grown in popularity in recent years with many artists becoming famous for their work; and, as a result, more colleges are offering courses in glass work. Many amateurs now undertake making art glass a hobby.

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