While designing the Elementa collection I used a material for making glass beads of Preciosa. Nature is my source of inspiration, which I later reflected in a series of experimental samples, mirrors and cylinders made of waste material from glass beads. Primarily, I was interested in silicon elements that are part of the glass sector and necessary for the final shape of the glass beads. Throughout my work I was asking myself where the specific sand comes from and what kind of impact the production has on our environment. Preciosa uses glass sand from the region of Bohemian Paradise (Český ráj) mined in the village of Střeleč. Local inhabitans from the heart of the national parks are concerned about the huge overground mines polluting the environment and its negative effect on landscape, air and underground waters in the surrounding area.
Sand is becoming a natural commodity and the main material for building and glass sector as well as many other industries. Given the steadily growing demand for using natural resources, sand and stone have become the most mined materials in the world. Climate change, pollution and/or declining water resourceses are the main global issues. Mineral resources, however, are being for the most part ignored.
Conference organised by the UN Environment, GRID (Global Information Database) and University of Geneva in the mids of October 2018 in Geneva confirmed that at the moment people annually excavate more than 50 bilion tons of stone and sand. Five times more than cole. It is predicted that each year excavation of stone and sand will globally increase. In 2030 it should reach up to 60 bilion tons. Asia is the biggest global consumer of sand. The most affected areas are third countries where illegal and non-regulated excavation takes place and causes soil erosion, shortage of underground water and has negative effect on people’s lives.
Mirror is the object of everyday use and enables man to look at himself in the face. I work with mirrors as fragile objects representing human civilisation, which I perceive as easily vulnerable. With the mirror reflection I attempt to reflect on issues related to an excessive excavation of sand and superfluous waste material in the glass sector in general. Principal element of mirrors as well as one of the main building materials is sandstone representing the gift of nature. It is intentionally left in its natural raw form with minimal human intervention. Raw sandstone protects the mirror from breaking and carries not only the mirror, but also glass beads as a human product with its original decorative function. Glass beads decoration makes up the reverse mirror side and points to the side waste. Preciosa produces about 10 tons each year and it does not have any other significant utilisation. Preciosa is not able to recycle this waste material in its day-to-day business.
The mirror shape is deformed and based on a circle symbolising infinity and perfection. The circle is deliberately degraded, with which I want to point out human imperfection and the fact that man often takes more from nature than he gives back. In this university term I decided to work solely with glass beads. I want to explore the borders and possibilities of this material under different temperatures. I realize how energetically demanding this process is. During my production I always attempt to lower the temperature at the lowest possible minimum. Glass beads are smelting at 610 degrees and I try to maintain its original structure. They are then formed into elementary forms of cylinders. I decided to use these formes in order to present new usage of the material in simple curves and forms. The cylinders are made at different hight levels with different diameters. We could perceive them as solitary objects or as objects for our everyday use.
The installation enables us to oversee the path of a glass bead from the original natural material to a possible alternative work with glass beads as unused waste material and furthermore as a reflection of ourselves in the mirror.