Glass in motion

Jonathan Radetz is currently experimenting with solid-colored cast glass, which he uses to create a fascinating sense of dynamism, one which allows the apparent solidity of his materials to appear more diffuse.
Text by Anna Moldenhauer, Photos by Felix Krumbholz | 2/8/2021

“What I wanted to do was to make a statement above and beyond the items’ shapes, one that relates to the process itself,” comments Jonathan Radetz. “Liquids” is the name of the conceptual project in which this Frankfurt-based designer created various objects made of cast glass. Their irregular shapes and the little air bubbles trapped inside the glass underscore the visual dynamism of his one-off pieces, lending them a soft, almost gel-like appearance. Their entire depth is highlighted when they come into contact with light, which makes the vivid hues of their glass positively glisten, from their honey yellows to their royal blues. Their intensity varies depending on the thickness of the solid shape. Furthermore, one particular feature of cast glass is apparent from the surface of Radetz’ objects – a flat dint which occurs when the liquid glass thread is severed and the material slowly solidifies. “I thought about finding a function for this indentation, for example, that of a bowl,” explains Radetz.

In order to emphasize the functional level, a common denominator was called for – such as the quantity of the material used. Accordingly, one scoopful of molten glass is used per item. “It is currently still at the stage where it is a concept celebrating glass casting, but it can develop into an applied project,” Radetz points out. And he has even already had an idea about what to do with the mixed scraps of waste glass left over from the process which, because of their different colors, cannot be returned to the cycle – to use the fragments of colored glass in a new form in combination with ceramics. The coming months will reveal to what extent this experiment with cast glass will result in functional products. As Radetz is aware, this is not the first product to use cast glass but, no doubt, the most experimental one. Prior to this, he teamed up with Antonia Henschel to design “CINEMA”, a set of solid-colored glass bookends for Schönbuch, their shapes inspired by the open and closed interior surfaces of the letters in the alphabet. In this latter project, the typographical elements chosen were transformed into tangible objects.

"Liquids" von Jonathan Radetz